ROANOKE, Va. – The National Weather Service in Blacksburg went out to Giles and Pulaski counties on Saturday to survey the damage caused by Friday night's storms.
It has been determined that an EF-1 tornado touched down in Bella Vista in Pulaski county from 8:10 to 8:11 p.m. Friday. The winds were estimated to be between 90 to 95 miles per hour. The tornado was embedded within the storm and was determined to be 50 yards wide and a quarter of a mile long.
"It's a pretty chaotic debris field," National Weather Service Blacksburg meteorologist Mike Sporer said while surveying. "Trying to piece together the patchwork of damage we come across into a cohesive entity is always a challenge."
Any damage that occured before that time was caused by a downburst and straightline winds.
"In terms of the strength, it was a 10," said Todd Davis, a Bella Vista resident left with a giant tree across his driveway after the tornado. "It's been a good one. Most of the damage is up the road a quarter mile, but we got our share of it here as well."
"The pictures didn't do it justice," added Karen White, whose mother-in-law's shed was destroyed by the tornado. "I said, 'Oh, wow.' Seeing the damage really sets you back quite a bit."
Sporer says storms this intense are very rare this late in the summer.
"You can get supercell structures any time of the year, but we do tend to see most of them in the spring and the early summer months," Sporer said. "This is just one of those situations where all of the ingredients came together. This is why we are here, for the unusual situations."