1993 Virginia tornado outbreak

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1993 Virginia tornado outbreak
TypeTornado outbreak
DurationAugust 6, 1993
Tornadoes confirmed24
Max rating1F4 tornado
Duration of tornado outbreak2~ 4 hours
Damage$72 million
Areas affectedNorth Carolina, Virginia
1Most severe tornado damage; see Fujita scale 2Time from first tornado to last tornado

The 1993 Virginia tornado outbreak was a tornado outbreak that occurred in the Southeastern United States on August 6, 1993. It was very rare in that most tornado outbreaks in this region occur in the spring.

Confirmed tornadoes[edit]

Confirmed tornadoes by Fujita rating
FU F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 Total
0 3 16 2 1 1 0 23
F# Location County Time (UTC) Path length Damage
F2 NE of Kenbridge to NW of Colonial Heights Lunenburg, Nottoway, Dinwiddie, Chesterfield 1643 38 miles
(60.8 km)
Tornado touched down near Kenbridge as an F0, blowing the roofs off of a briquette factory and a furniture company. The tornado reached F1 intensity in Nottoway County, leveling trees, outbuildings, and barns. A house was damaged as well. The tornado crossed into Dinwiddie County and further intensified into an F2 as it struck the town of Ford, where a house lost its second story, telephone poles and large trees were downed, and a wooden shed was leveled. The tornado caused F0 damage in Chesterfield County before dissipating.[1]
F4 SW of Petersburg to NE of Hopewell Dinwiddie, Prince George, Chesterfield 1730 12 miles
(19.6 km)
4 deathsSee section on this tornado
F1 N of Colonial Heights to SW of Talleysville Chesterfield, Henrico, Charles City, New Kent 1740 14 miles
(22.4 km)
Tornado first moved through a subdivision, causing roof and window damage and downing numerous trees. The tornado then crossed the James River and struck the Varina-Enon bridge, flipping several vehicles. Minor tree damage occurred elsewhere. Five people were injured.[1]
F1 SE of Roxbury to N of Providence Forge Charles City, New Kent 1800 6.5 miles
(10.4 km)
Tornado caused extensive tree damage and destroyed two mobile homes.[1]
F1 NE of Providence Forge New Kent 1815 4.8 miles
(7.7 km)
Many trees were downed in rural areas. Tornado was up to a half-mile wide at times.[1]
F1 W of Courtland Southampton 1820 1 miles
(1.6 km)
Trees were uprooted and a shed was destroyed.[1]
F1 Sussex to E of Waverly Sussex 1827 14 miles
(22.4 km)
Tornado struck Waverly, where trees were snapped/uprooted and chimneys were knocked over. A branch was found driven into the siding of one home. A poorly-built metal peanut warehouse was destroyed as well.[1]
F1 SW of Spring Surry 1835 2.5 miles
(4 km)
Trees were snapped and uprooted, metal roofing was torn from a shed, and two vehicles were damaged. Three houses were damaged, including one that lost its chimney.[1]
F1 W of Surry Surry 1835 5 miles
(4 km)
An apartment building lost part of its roof and much of its siding. Trees were downed and a car had its windows blown out as well.[1]
F1 SE of Williamsburg James City, York 1850 8 miles
(12.8 km)
Near the beginning of the path, the tornado snapped pine trees, and destroyed a bathhouse and a recreational building. The tornado then rolled 5 mobile homes at a trailer park, flattened a large metal building, and threw a storage trailer. After crossing Highway 60, the tornado moved into York County, where trees were blown onto buildings at the Naval Weapons Station.[1]
F0 Franklin area Isle of Wight 1900 0.3 km
(0.5 km)
Brief tornado with no damage.[1]
F3 S of Urbana Middlesex 1900 2.9 miles
(4.6 km)
Tornado snapped trees, damaged a barn, and overturned a travel trailer. Listed as an F0 on the NWS Sterling survey page, and the NCDC listing as an F3 may be erroneous.[1]
F1 Newport News to Hampton James City 1910 12 miles
(19.2 km)
In Newport News, the tornado blew trees onto homes and tore apart a poorly-built flea market. Sheet metal was found wrapped around trees. In Hampton, the tornado overturned a portable classroom at a high school, and tore air conditioning units from the roof of a grocery store. At Langley Air Force Base, the tornado damaged several F-15s and a storage building.[1]
F0 White Stone area Lancaster 1915 1 miles
(1.6 km)
Trees were blown onto homes.[1]
F1 N of Suffolk Suffolk 1930 2 miles
(3.2 km)
Four homes were damaged and several trees were knocked down. Two homes under construction were moved several feet from their foundations.
F1 Kiptopeke area Northampton 1950 0.5 miles
(0.8 km)
Tornado struck Kiptopeke State Park, snapping multiple trees along the path. Picnic tables were thrown, and a 20-foot ornamental boat was thrown 120 feet. A construction trailer and another trailer were overturned as well.[1]
F2 Chesapeake area Chesapeake 2000 2.5 miles
(4 km)
Tornado moved through Chesapeake, damaging at least 35 homes. Some homes lost large sections of their roofs, and a brick two-car garage was destroyed. Trees were snapped and uprooted, some of which landed on homes.[1]
F1 SE of Virginia Beach Virginia Beach 2045 1.5 miles
(2.4 km)
Tornado began as a waterspout and moved ashore, causing tree and roof damage. One house had its roof blown off.[1]
North Carolina
F1 Grantham area Wayne unknown unknown This tornado damaged the roofs of 6 homes, the roof of a school, and four hangars at a local airport. Several barns and numerous trees were damaged as well.
F1 Ponzer area Hyde 1900 0.5 miles
(0.8 km)
Homes sustained roof damage, and outbuildings were damaged.
F1 Swanquarter area Hyde 1910 0.7 miles
(1.1 km)
A house was destroyed, and another was damaged.
F0 Engelhard area Hyde 1945 0.2 miles
(0.32 km)
A house roof and satellite dish antenna were damaged.
F1 Pantego area Beaufort 2030 0.5 miles
(0.8 km)
A two-car garage and home were damaged, and a tobacco barn was destroyed.
Sources: NOAA Storm Data, Tornado History Project Storm Data - August 6, 1993

Petersburg/Colonial Heights/Hopewell tornado[edit]

This destructive tornado touched down on the southwest side of Petersburg, and rapidly intensified as it struck the historic downtown area of the city. Several well-built, multi-story brick buildings were leveled, along with a train station. A decorative caboose near the train station was ripped from its anchors and thrown 20 feet, pulling the anchors out of the ground in the process. Damage in downtown Petersburg was rated as F4. The tornado then moved through the Pocahontas Island neighborhood at F3 intensity, heavily damaging or destroying 47 homes and a church. A total of 100 buildings were damaged or destroyed in Petersburg. The tornado then crossed into Colonial Heights, severely damaging a strip mall, a K-mart, and a waterbed store. A Wal-Mart was destroyed, with three fatalities occurring at that location. Many cars in the parking lot were tossed and destroyed as well. Damage in Colonial Heights was rated as low-end F3. The tornado then crossed into Prince George County at F2 intensity, striking a sand and gravel company. Several cars and trucks were overturned, the second floor of a cinder-block building was destroyed, conveyor belts were twisted and overturned, and one person was killed at that location. Many trees were downed throughout the county. The tornado then struck the north side of Hopewell at F1 intensity, where it blew roofs off of an apartment complex. The tornado caused minor damage to an additional 49 homes, major damage to 13 homes and destroyed two other homes in Hopewell. The tornado exited Hopewell, weakened to an F0, and dissipated in Charles City County. From start to finish, this storm caused 4 deaths and 246 injuries. It was the deadliest Virginia tornado since 10 people were killed in Ivy on September 30, 1959.[2] It was also the first recorded F4 tornado in Virginia state history.[3] For a number of years afterwards, the remains of a damage swath (sheared, twisted and broken vegetation) through thick trees was visible along the west side of I-95 on the immediate north side of the Appomattox crossing. Perhaps one of the longest lasting reminders of the twister was on the Martin Luther King Jr. Bridge between Colonial Heights and Petersburg. As the tornado had smashed through the historic district, it ripped a traffic light off the bridge, and the snapped pillars remained until the bridge was replaced in 2002. As a result of the damage that occurred, a State of emergency was issued for Petersburg.[4][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p McNaught, Barbara (September 9, 2004). "6 AUGUST 1993 SOUTHEAST VIRGINIA TORNADO OUTBREAK". NWS Sterling. NOAA. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-02. Retrieved 2016-05-18.
  3. ^ http://www.tornadohistoryproject.com
  4. ^ "Presidentially Declared Disasters". Archived from the original on 2008-04-21. Retrieved 2007-12-25.
  5. ^ McNaught, Barbara (September 9, 2004). "6 AUGUST 1993 SOUTHEAST VIRGINIA TORNADO OUTBREAK". NWS Sterling. NOAA. Retrieved December 28, 2013.

External links[edit]