Tornadic Like Winds Cause Major Damage To Homes In Ellicott, Cleanup Underway

ELLICOTT – Residents living on Old Fluvanna Road are cleaning up following a severe thunderstorm Saturday evening that many say brought ‘tornadic like winds’ to the area.

Maple Springs Tree Service, Town of Ellicott officials and power crews were hard at work Sunday cleaning up several downed trees and power lines.

Rodger Zenisek has lived on Old Fluvanna Road for 37 years. He said he hasn’t seen damage like this before.

“It looked like a tornado came through here,” said Zenisek. “A lot of people lost stuff today.”

Zenisek said he is now in search of a contractor to repair his roof and deck.

“The deck is taken down. We got roof punctures and the inside looks okay, but the outside structure is really bad.”

Many lakeside residents report little to no damage to their homes, including Richard Adams, who said he was home when the storms rolled in.

“I don’t know if we had a swirl going or not, a tornado touch down, but my wife got a picture sent to her from a friend across the lake showing a swirl that looked like a tornado but it didn’t form into a funnel that came down,” said Adams. “There are trees that ended up from here over into the lake and other directional things took place; something was up there pulling them around.”

David Zaff with the National Weather Service in Buffalo said radar did not indicate a tornado touched down; however heavy winds did blow through the area.

“Looking at the Jamestown storm(s) yesterday afternoon/eve, I cannot find any evidence of rotation from the Buffalo radar at the moment. But, the radar beam is nearly perpendicular to storm motion for this event and the lowest tilt (now 0.3) is still over 3000′ above the ground and not particularly detailed,” said Zaff. “There was a 56 MPH gust upstream on the Erie PA ASOS at 539PM. The storm structure does not support supercell formation, and I cannot see any evidence of a bowing segment. So, from a radar standpoint, it looks like straightline winds.”

Zaff did say that a downburst may have occurred.

“For what it’s worth, the ~330PM storm had a better velocity signal and would indicate a downburst, but calls to the sheriff down there clearly indicate that the damage is from the ~630 storm,” said Zaff.

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