The National Weather Service confirmed Tuesday that a EF0 tornado, with winds reaching about 80 miles per hour, did touch down in Carroll County a few minutes after 10 p.m. Monday. It had a short life, but the damage was substantial.
The tornado touched down for just a few seconds. Its path was probably no more than 30 yards, but for the people who were inside the Kangaroo Express, it was a moment they will never forget.
"The wind was blowing real hard, and rain was coming down real hard and all of a sudden the roof just went off. That was one more scary moment," said Jeffrey Dupree.
"Oh God, help me. He had to have been there. That is all that saved us. All that saved us," said Joy Goad.
The convenience store lost most of its roof. The high winds blew down the canopy that covered the gas pumps, and the storm scattered debris across the parking lot.
"We're thankful that everybody was fine. There were no serious injuries. Apparently there were two minor injuries, but thankfully no serious injuries with this event," said Phil Hysell, with the National Weather Service.
So, how did the National Weather Service determine that this was in fact a tornado? What got Phil Hysell's attention was the debris he found was blown in the opposite direction of the storm's motion. If straight line winds were to blame, all of the debris would have been blown in the same direction as the storm.
Meteorologists from the National Weather Service confirm a tornado touched down in Carroll County Monday night. It was only on the ground for about 20 yards and packed winds estimated at 80 miles an hour.
Here is the complete statement from the National Weather Service:
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BLACKSBURG VA HAS CONFIRMED A
TORNADO NEAR CANA IN CARROLL COUNTY VIRGINIA ON SEPTEMBER 5, 2011.
THE TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN VERY BRIEFLY AT A GAS STATION ON U.S. 52...
ALSO KNOWN AS FANCY GAP HIGHWAY...AND BLEW THE ROOF OFF AND INTO
THE AWNING COVERING THE GAS PUMPS. WHILE THERE WAS NO OTHER DAMAGE
TO TREES OR STRUCTURES ON EITHER SIDE OF THE HIGHWAY...A PIECE OF
WOOD FROM THE ROOF WAS FOUND A FEW HUNDRED YARDS UP THE ROAD
TOWARD THE NORTHWEST. THE STORM WAS TRAVELING TOWARD THE NORTH-
NORTHEAST. TWO PEOPLE INSIDE THE GAS STATION SUFFERED MINOR INJURIES.
THERE WAS ALSO MINOR STRAIGHT LINE WIND DAMAGE NEARBY TO LARGE
LIMBS AND SMALL TREES.
Storms packed a hard punch through the night. Now at least one business is waking up to major damage in Carroll County.
A possible tornado came through Cana a little after 10 p.m. Monday. Cana is a small town not far from the North Carolina line.
A Kangaroo gas station on Route 52 had the most damage. Carroll County's emergency manager says strong winds blew away gas pumps and the gas station's roof. The roof over the pumps is now on the ground. Trees and powerlines are also down in the area.
A NEWS7 crew at the scene says the roof of the gas station has been severely damaged and part of the roof landed on a vehicle.
Authorities say a possible tornado has caused damage at a gas station in Carroll County.
Crews were called to the scene of the Kangaroo gas station on Route 52 in Cana a little after 10:00 Monday night.
Carroll County's emergency manager reports that gas station pumps were blown away causing significant damage to the station.
We're told no one was injured. Many trees and power lines are down in that area.
NEWS7 has a crew on the way to the scene.
We'll have updates as they become available.