Officials plan to continue tornado assessment today

The Associated Press

The National Weather Service confirmed that tornadoes struck Suffolk, Colonial Heights and Brunswick County.

Meteorologist Bryan Jackson said the Brunswick County tornado was estimated at 86 to 110 mph, and cut a 300-yard path of destruction.

Assessments of the other twisters were planned for today, but Jackson described Suffolk's as a "major tornado."

Bob Spieldenner of the Virginia Department of Emergency Management said at least 200 were injured in Suffolk. At least 18 others were injured when the storm hit Colonial Heights, Spieldenner said.

In Colonial Heights south of Richmond, the storm overturned cars and blew out vehicle windows in the Southpark Mall area. Some buildings also were damaged.

Southside Regional Medical Center treated one storm victim with minor injuries and was poised to receive more, hospital spokeswoman Terry Tysinger said. John Randolph Hospital in Hopewell was put on "high alert."

Property damage also was reported in Brunswick County, one of several localities where the weather service had issued a tornado warning. Sgt. Michelle Cotten of the Virginia State Police said a twister destroyed two homes. Trees and power lines were down, and some flooding was reported.

About 9,000 Dominion Virginia Power customers remained without service Monday night, mostly in the Northern Neck.

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