Tornado causes significant damage in Courtland

Published 12:15 pm Tuesday, August 4, 2020

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Injuries were minor


One westbound lane of Route 58 will remain closed overnight because of notable damage caused by a tornado that struck around 3 o’clock Tuesday morning. The closure was in effect from Route 35 in Courtland to Shady Brook Trail. The 58 eastbound lanes reopened as of noon. The Virginia Department of Transportation had already set up temporary detours.

Mike Montefusco, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Wakefield told The Tidewater News, “We have had a radar confirmation in that area, but have not conducted a storm survey so there’s not a whole lot [more] of information. We’re hoping to get more later today or by early Wednesday. We’ll go out and look at the sites.”

Maj. Camden Cobb, spokesman for the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office, said, “The first call came to the office at 3:01 that debris was on Route 58 (Southampton Parkway) at the Palm Tree Inn. Deputies arrived at 3:16 and found overturned vehicles and heavy damage — significant — to the Palm Tree Inn. The electric company, Griggs Lawn and Tractor, DQ and 7-11 as well as the Farmer’s Market on Agri Park Drive.”

He added, “There are no major injuries or deaths reported. There have been only minor injuries endured by people who were staying at the Palm Tree Inn.”

In total, as of 7 a.m. there were 22 weather-related calls from 3 to 7 a.m.

There are 30 deputies out and of them three teams are working to help clear the road, said Cobb.

Routes 460 and 35 are open and clear, but many secondary roads are impacted by trees and power lines.

The Sheriff’s Office is being assisted by the Virginia State Police, VDOT, the Courtland Volunteer Fire Department and Courtland Rescue.

More details and photos will be published as they become available.