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Tornado warning, flash flood warning issued for Charlottesville

Remnants of Hurricane Ida spawn rotating storms, heavy rain in Charlottesville area

A tornado warning issued for the City of Charlottesville at 11:24 p.m has since expired, with rotating storms associated with the remnants of Hurricane Ida passing through the region. 

The storm, which had radar indicated rotation — meaning a tornado was not observed on the ground, but the National Weather Service believed one could form based on radar conditions — passed just to the east of much of the city and Grounds. It is unclear if a tornado actually touched down.

At least five tornado warnings were issued in and around the Charlottesville area Tuesday evening, though it is unclear if any in the region touched down. A tornado watch — the first issued for the region in more than a year —  will continue until 3:00 a.m.

A flash flood warning was also issued for Charlottesville as torrential rain came down in an extremely short period of time. In the warning, which is set to continue until 3:45 a.m., the National Weather Service warned that the threat of flash flood damage was “considerable.”

“Between 1 and 2 inches of rain have fallen,” the National Weather Service explained. “The expected rainfall rate is 1.5 to 2 inches in 1 hour. Additional rainfall amounts of 1 to 2 inches are possible in the warned area. Flash flooding is ongoing or expected to begin shortly.”

University Emergency Management tweeted out to students and community members to take shelter approximately 14 minutes after the National Weather Service issued its warning.

Students have reported flooding in some apartments and homes, including minor flooding at one door of Shea House. Students in at least some on-Grounds housing complexes sheltered on the ground floors of their buildings while the tornado warning was active.

Severe weather is again in the forecast for Wednesday, with the National Weather Service placing the area under a slight risk of severe weather, including the potential for severe winds and tornadoes.

Meanwhile, the weather was also active down in Blacksburg, Virginia, the home of Virginia Tech. The city was placed under a tornado warning twice Tuesday evening, and a tornado was confirmed to be on the ground as a storm approached the Hokies’ campus.  

When a tornado warning is issued, the National Weather Service urges those in the warning to shelter immediately in the lowest level of your home, away from windows. Tornadoes can be difficult to see, especially late at night and when obscured by rain.

Any changes to the University’s operational status will be posted on the Operations Status Board, which is run by University Emergency Management.