A tornado touched down and wreaked havoc at Cherrystone Campground in Northampton County, Virginia, on Thursday morning, causing two fatalities and three dozen injuries.
In a press conference Thursday afternoon, a Virginia State Police spokesperson confirmed the death toll remained at two, and that 36 were injured.
Also on Thursday afternoon, a storm survey team from the National Weather Service reported preliminary data indicated tornadic and straight line wind and hail damage. The NWS later confirmed it was an EF-1 tornado that touched down in the area.
Preliminary data from the storm survey team in Northampton County indicates both tornadic and straight line wind/hail damage.
— NWS Wakefield (@NWSWakefieldVA) July 24, 2014
Victims were taken to Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital in Nassawadox, Virginia. Peter Glagola, the hospital spokesperson, tweeted that a total of 26 people, including 11 children, were treated following the violent storms.
Emergency managers reported the tornado overturned RV campers at 8:40 a.m. EDT Thursday.
The same severe storm produced baseball-sized hail and a downburst in the area, according to the NWS.
"Just lived through a tornado. Children are missing. People are dead. Trees are down. Campers are flipped," Jordan Bertok tweeted from the scene along with photos of the damage.
The timing of the tornado was very unusual, AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jack Boston said.
"It was not the favored time of day that tornadoes occur," he said. "Generally, they occur during the mid-afternoon through the mid-evening."
"it wasn't a very powerful storm system to trigger that," AccuWeather Meteorologist Randy Adkins Jr. added. "There was a pretty good cold front moving through the area at the time."
There were no severe thunderstorm or tornado watches issued at the time by the National Weather Service. A tornado warning was issued at 8:20 a.m. for a Doppler radar-indicated waterspout over the Chesapeake Bay, according to the NWS.
The tornado was estimated to have struck about five minutes later.
Hail pelted campers as the intense storms caused damage and multiple fatalities Thursday morning. (YouTube/DaniMariee15)
AccuWeather.com Staff Writer Mark Leberfinger contributed to this story.
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