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National Weather Service surveys tornado damage in Montgomery Co., finds multiple places impacted

Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 7:09 PM EDT
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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - As Tim Simpkins looked at Montgomery County damage left from Tuesday’s storm, he is grateful things weren’t worse.

“Just the fence line-- electric fence runs under these trees and we keep the cattle out of the woods, and you can just see it tore down a lot of the big, big old trees have been here for years. It touched down basically right here; it looks like they’ve done a lot of damage to the woods. Thank God lesson, no home damage,” said Tim Simpkins.

The storm also took down part of a barn roof—and left tree limbs scattered.

“Well, I’ve heard and it’s just part of life, you know. In Bible season and times will be storms and earthquakes and diverse places so we, we see it all things happen all the time,” said Simpkins.

Simpkins’ property was one of many the National Weather Service (NWS) in Blacksburg surveyed the morning after the storm. The team followed its path– piecing together its impact.

“If there was damage caused by a severe thunderstorm or tornado, that’s really going help build the climatology and help us understand the climatology for weather conditions in southwest Virginia,” said Phil Hysell with Blacksburg’s NWS.

However, experts say they aren’t surprised a tornado could have briefly touched down.

“We were aware of the atmospheric conditions. Anytime you had the remains of a tropical system, you have a lot of what we call wind shear in there in the atmosphere, which just means the winds are turning with height, and when you have those conditions in place, you have several... the gradients in place to be able to produce tornadoes, so it was something we were expecting. And while not common in this area, the remains of tropical systems are one of the scenarios where you do see the potential for tornadoes,” said Hysell.

The path of the storm took them south along the Tyler Road area, as well as northeast into Christiansburg near Peppers Ferry Rd., and even north of Blacksburg.

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