More Info Released on Herndon Tornado — After detailed analysis, the National Weather Service says a tornado that touched down in Herndon on April 6 was one of seven in the area during that storm. It is now estimated the tornado first came to ground near the Dulles Greene and Capstone apartment complexes in Herndon and lasted about five minutes. It downed numerous trees, including one that was thrown into the window of an apartment building. [National Weather Service]
Reston Islamic School Spotlighted by NPR — Al Fatih Academy (12300 Pinecrest Road) was the subject of a segment on today’s Morning Edition on NPR. The academy’s goal is “to cultivate and nurture a thriving American Muslim identity that balances religious, academic and cultural knowledge and imparts the importance of civic involvement and charitable work.” [NPR]
Local College Student Fighting Pollution — Reston’s Elizabeth Merin, a junior biosystems engineering major at Virginia Tech, is part of a group of students working to scrutinize emissions at the Radford Army Ammunition Plant in Blacksburg, as well as pollution in the New River Valley. The students have started a chapter of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, calling their group Citizens for Arsenal Accountability. [Roanoke Times]
Herndon Farmers Market Now Open, Rain and All — The opening day of the Herndon Farmers Market, which goes through 12:30 p.m. today, is on despite this morning’s rainy weather. It will take place each Thursday into November, in front of the caboose on Lynn Street. [Reston Now/Twitter]
The National Weather Service has confirmed that a small tornado touched down in Herndon during Thursday afternoon’s storm.
According to the Storm Prediction Center’s report, the tornado occurred in the area of Crestview Drive at 1:36 p.m.:
SIX TO 10 TREES DOWN IN VICINITY OF BUILDERS ROAD AND CRESTVIEW DRIVE … ALL FALLING TOWARDS THE NORTH. WOOD FENCING ALONG CRESTVIEW DR BLOWN TO THE WEST.
The tornado was classified as an EF-0, the lowest level on the scale, with a top wind speed between 60 and 70 mph. Preliminary damage survey results show it was on the ground for about three-quarters of a mile, with a maximum width of 25 yards.
NWS Baltimore/Washington has confirmed 2 EF-0 tornadoes today. Further investigation & reviews in other locations will be completed Friday. pic.twitter.com/CfUXxVnUWw
— NWS DC/Baltimore (@NWS_BaltWash) April 7, 2017
A second EF-0 tornado in the area touched down in southeast Washington, D.C., about five minutes after the Herndon tornado. No one was reported injured in either location.
The storm toppled numerous trees in Reston and the surrounding area Thursday. The National Weather Service says it is investigating other locations in the area today.
Image via David Welch/Facebook of tree fallen at Dranesville Elementary School in Herndon
Northern Virginia residents are urged to take part in a statewide tornado drill Tuesday at 9:45 a.m.
The Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management says the drill is an important safety exercise in an effort to remain safe should tornado strike.
While not commonly considered “tornado country,” Virginia has had 70 since 2011, including one in Reston. In total, they have caused more than $3 million in damage.
The National Weather Service will be testing its alert system as part of the drill. When the drill begins, immediately protect yourself by going to a designated shelter-in-place or to the center of an interior room on the lowest level away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls, Fairfax County emergency managers say.
The Virginia Department of Emergency Management has these tips on organizing a drill in your home or office as well as information on how to spot the signs of a tornado.
Find more information on the Statewide Tornado Drill or additional drill resources at the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM). Find more information on tornadoes from FEMA at http://www.ready.gov/tornadoes.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe has designated March 11 as Tornado Preparedness Day in Virginia.