A tornado reportedly spun through central Gloucester, uprooting trees, downing power lines and scattering debris on parts of Hickory Fork, Chestnut Fork and Belroi Roads, according to Gloucester Sheriff's Maj. Darrell Warren.
On Belroi Road near Chestnut Fork Road, a giant tree was fully uprooted and flung across the front of a Jeep Cherokee.
Fire Chief J.D. Clements, of Gloucester County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company, said firefighters also had responded to reports of wind damage on Main Street in the Courthouse area and on Route 14 heading out to Mathews. He said there were no reports of fire or injuries.
From the street, Wayne Metheny's Chestnut Fork Road trailer looked to have emerged unscathed, with not even a flower in his garden beds out of place. But around back, the twister had severed several large tree branches, which had crashed down on three of his vehicles—including a 1967 Ford Thunderbird he'd received as a gift from his son.
Across the street, sheets of aluminum fencing were scattered across a front yard, with a ten-foot section hanging from a power line 20 feet in the air.
A neighbor told Metheny he'd seen the tornado touch down in the lot behind Metheny's, skip over his home and move down the road.
Shawn and Jennifer Miller, who live next door to Metheny, surveyed the damage behind their home. About ten trees had had their tops shorn off about 40 feet above the ground, with branches and debris scattered everywhere. Two apple saplings, remarkably, stood undisturbed.
When the storm passed through between 4:30 and 5 p.m., Miller said, her ears popped, her adrenaline soared and then, within seconds, it was over.
"We were just standing by the door and, to me, it sounded like a diesel truck coming through," Shawn Miller said.
Initially, Dominon Virginia Power was reporting up to 15,000 customers without power in Gloucester and Mathews, with the main concentration just east of the Gloucester Court House area, according to the company's Web site. However, by 7:45 p.m., about half of those customers had power restored.