Saturday, January 18, 2020
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Tornadoes after Florence rip through central Virginia

Tornado watches were issued beginning at about 2 PM Monday and continued for several hours in central and southern Virginia, with at least one tornado causing damage to a building and killing one person in Chesterfield, WWBT-TV (NBC affiliate) reports.

A tornado also hit Richmond, as recorded on video by WSLS-TV, embedded above.

Meanwhile, many areas of North Carolina, including Wilmington and Fayetteville, continue to suffer in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. The death toll stood at 25 as of Monday afternoon, including three young children, the Charlotte Observer reported.

Rescue workers in Union County, just southeast of Charlotte, found the body of a 1-year-old boy who was apparently swept away in floodwaters on Sunday.

Schools in Wilmington remain closed, with the school district posting the following statement:

As the process of damage assessments begin after Hurricane Florence, New Hanover County Schools will remain closed for all students and the majority of staff for the week of September 17-21, 2018. Only staff specifically contacted by their supervisors to come in should report if and when it is safe to do so.

The superintendent and senior leaders will decide later this week about when the schools can safely reopen for staff and students. Many employees and their families are still evacuated and have been unable to return to their homes at this time.

School districts and other organizations from across the country have generously offered to assist by donating items that our students will need. Coordination of these donations will be conducted through our Central Office via Chief Communications Officer Valita Quattlebaum once we determine the system’s needs. Please contact Mrs. Quattlebaum at valita.quattlebaum@nhcs.net for more information beginning next week.

So far, preliminary damage assessments have been made at about 60% of the schools, while some schools are currently inaccessible due to damaged roads and fallen trees. Assessments will be ongoing throughout today and tomorrow as roadways are cleared. Here is some preliminary information:

  • Several schools experienced major flooding and other issues which are currently being assessed.
  • There are access issues with numerous schools due to minor flooding and debris.

Cumberland County, around Fayetteville, has decided to keep schools there closed through Wednesday. The entire county remains in a state of emergency, the school district noted, “and the top priority is the safety of students, staff, and community members. CCS’ staff will continue to work closely with Cumberland County Emergency Management to monitor weather forecasts and road conditions.”

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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