Severe weather spawns tornado sightings

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ACCOMAC — Residents of the Eastern Shore of Virginia on Saturday again were riddled by numerous reports of tornadoes and funnel clouds, the third time this summer that severe weather has spawned such reports.

The National Weather Service reported a tornado touched down near Melfa, ripping the roof from a mobile home.

High winds, possibly from a tornado, also damaged a rustic waterside crab business on Quinby Bridge, on the Machipongo River, according to reports.

The area also was swamped by a deluge — almost 7 inches of rain were recorded from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Eastern Shore Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Painter, which has been keeping daily rainfall records for more than 70 years.

“And we’ve had a couple of showers since then,” said Tommy Custis, farm manager at the center, on Saturday.

While reports of tornadoes caught the attention of most — “We’ve had a lot of calls,” said Jeff Flornoy, director of the Eastern Shore of Virginia 911 Center in Accomac — the rainfall caused the most disruption.

Greg Lewis, shift supervisor at the Accomack County Department of Public Safety, said a number of reports of cars in ditches or simply drowned out “mainly down around the Melfa area.”

Lewis confirmed that a roof had been blown from atop a mobile home near Melfa.

The National Weather Service reported a person in the mobile home had been injured, but the victim was not identified, and it didn’t report the extent of his injuries.

Areas including Onancock reported water in the streets near the harbor after the storms swept through the area.

The area remained under a flood warning for most of the day.

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