HANOVER COUNTY, Va (WTVR) – Straight-line winds, not a tornado, caused massive storm damage across Hanover County, according to the National Weather Service in Wakefield. People who saw the storm Sunday reported seeing a funnel cloud, but survey crews determined the cloud never touched down.
The powerful thunderstorm toppled trees and blew down power lines. Some in Hanover Monday to downed limbs and uprooted trees in their yards.
The storm nearly destroyed a stand run by the Ashland Berry Farm near the intersection of Route 301 and Atlee Road. Powerful wind ripped away a large section of a 40-foot long awning that covered the stand and tossed it 30 feet away.
“The wind was blowing, and it looked like a big hand was pressing the windows in,” James Hicks, manager at Popeye’s Chicken next to the flower stand, said.
During the storm, Hicks said he huddled customers towards the interior of the restaurant and away from the windows.
Three Hanover County public schools were on two-hour delays because of storm damage. Cool Spring Elementary, Chickahominy Middle, and Atlee High School were on a delayed schedule after losing power.
At the peak of the storm Sunday, Dominion Virginia Power reported more than 13,000 customers without power. As of 11:30 a.m. Monday, that number had drastically dropped, although more than 1,000 customers in Hanover were still without power.
“I think they’ll get it on at some point this afternoon,” David Wheate, who was running a generator to power his home off Atlee Road, said.