Witness describes moment tornado touched down in Chesterfield: ‘No warning’

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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. – It was a sight unlike anything James Henderson had ever seen firsthand.

A tornado ripped through Speeks Drive near Hull Street Road in Chesterfield County Monday afternoon.

“You could see debris flying in the air!” said Henderson. “It was spinning over there, and it just kind of went there and looped around.”

One person was killed and another injured when the tornado caused the roof of the Old Dominion Floor warehouse to collapse. The male victim was an employee of the business.

Cars were destroyed and twisted up in the rubble.

Hundreds of people who spend the afternoon at work; felt the building around them shake.

One witness said he was driving down Hull Street Road when the tornado touched down.

“I was down the road about a block, and you could see it come across the park and then that road. You could see debris flying. We were just worried about getting out of the way to make sure everyone was okay,” he said.

Many witnesses were stunned by the storm’s power, but also how little time it took to create so much devastation. They described hearing a train roaring, then saw debris flying everywhere.

“It started pouring down rain. Then it sunshined. Then all the sudden, here comes the tornado. No warning, no nothing. It just dropped and took everything out,” said the witness.

Officials say it could take many weeks to clean up the debris and then begin rebuilding.

Chesterfield Fire and EMS spokesperson Lt. Jason Elmore confirmed four scenes of major storm damage in Chesterfield County, believed to be caused by tornadoes and severe storms. Those areas include the reported tornado on Speeks Drive and damage reported in the Victorian Square Shopping Center, damage in the Birkdale and Hampton Park subdivisions, and near the Beaver Bridge Road area.

This is a developing story. Witnesses can send news tips, photos, and video here.

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