Confirmed tornadoes in southwest Virginia Monday evening

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(WVVA) Two tornadoes have been confirmed by the National Weather Service in Blacksburg in Grayson, Pulaski and Montgomery counties in southwest Virginia and in Wilkes County NC. Strong storms moved through the area Monday evening, causing a few quick tornadoes to spinup. Both tornadoes were rated EF1, with winds between 86mph and 110mph. The EF scale (Enhanced Fujita) ranges from a weak EF0 to EF5.

This is the entire report from the National Weather Service Blacksburg storm survey which took place on Tuesday.


The National Weather Service in Blacksburg VA has confirmed a tornado that touched down near Belspring, or 4 NW Radford in Pulaski County Virginia, and lifted near McCoy in Montgomery County Virginia on Oct 23 2017.

The tornado touched down as an EF1 just west of Belspring Road snapping pine trees and tossing farm trailers dozens of feet, then headed northeast and crossed Belspring Road snapping and uprooting dozens of large trees, with one tree falling on a house, shed, and two vehicles. It then produced significant damage to an unattached garage and workshop, lifting the roof off and throwing it back to the southwest onto the top of a two story house next to it, severely damaging the house with roofing material and parts of cinder blocks.

Winds speeds were estimated at around 100 mph at this point. As the tornado crossed Depot Road along the New River, the damage widened to about 300 yards mostly of snapped and uprooted trees, with only minor structural damage. After crossing the New River into Montgomery County, more trees were snapped on Kentland Farm, before it moved between the edge of Sterling Drive and over Blue Ridge Christian Camp in McCoy and then reached to near McCoy Road before signs of concentrated tornadic damage ended. Again, most damage was to large softwood and hardwood trees, likely well over 100 in total.

Some minor damage to roofs of houses and other buildings, and at least two trees on vehicles, and one tree on a house. There was quite a bit of scattered damage mainly to trees beyond the width of the concentrated tornado damage, mainly on the east side, and then beyond the path of tornado damage north of McCoy Road including the Wake Forest community was scattered straight line wind damage, again mainly to trees that extended to near the base of Brush Mountain. The National Weather Service wishes to extend our sincere thanks to Montgomery and Pulaski County Emergency Management, Virginia Dept of Emergency Management Region 6, as well as several home owners who graciously allowed us to survey their properties.


A NWS Storm Damage Assessment Team has confirmed that a tornado touched down in Wilkesboro NC at approximately 511 PM EDT near the intersection of East Main Street and Salem Street.

The tornado sporadically remained on the ground and traveled north-northeast at around 50 mph over Cherry Street in North Wilkesboro… continuing north and then finally lifting on Yellow Banks Road just west of Hayes around 520 PM EDT. Spotty straight-line wind damage with occasional broken trees occurred prior to the tornado touchdown south of Wilkesboro to the Wilkes County line…and continued after the tornado lifted north of Yellow Banks Road into unaccessible high country into Alleghany County along and near the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The parent storm circulation again became better organized as it continued north and northeast into Grayson County. This resulted in a second very brief tornado touchdown of only a minute at 553 PM EDT just southwest of Fries on Twin Pond Lane in the town of Providence…crossing over Opossum Hollow Lane and Keith Lane…and then lifting on Highway 94 near the intersection with Mandolin Drive.

All information in this statement is preliminary and subject to change pending final review of the event(s) and publication in NWS Storm Data. The NWS in Blacksburg would like to thank Wilkes County…Alleghany… and Grayson County Emergency Management for their assistance in the conduction of the damage assessment surveys.

by Travis Roberts
October 24, 2017

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Kyrie Wagner