UPDATE 9:27 a.m. (3/25/22): The National Weather Service (NWS) confirmed that the storm that swept through Carroll County Wednesday night was actually an EF-2 tornado, with winds up to 122 mph.

“We’ve seen a tremendous amount of storm damage across Gladesboro Road,” said Phil Hysell, a warning coordinator meteorologist for the NWS.

Wednesday’s tornado left trees broken and scattered all over the ground, led to outages for hundreds of people, and seriously damaged at least two homes, one of which was lifted from its foundation and had its roof torn off.

However, Hysell says things could have been much worse.

“Thank goodness nobody was injured in the home,” said Hysell.

According to the meteorologist, the tornado that people witnessed Wednesday night is not that rare in Virginia.

“In western Virginia, typically the wind damage we have, whether it’s from straight line winds or from tornadoes, are typically in that 100-120 mph range, and that’s where this damage is falling in, as well,” explained Hysell. “So while we would never wish this on anybody, this is not that uncommon.”

Kristen Quesenberry, the principal of Gladesboro Elementary School — which served as an emergency shelter on Thursday for Carroll County families impacted by the storm — is just glad that no one was hurt.

“I was relieved this morning when I was informed that there had been no injuries reported,” said Quesenberry.

Hysell emphasizes that when a situation like this occurs, you need to make sure you have the weather app on your mobile devices. You should also know where to go if there is inclement weather, telling community members as well.



UPDATE 4:43 p.m.: The NWS survey team confirmed that Wednesday night’s storm in Carroll County has been classified as an EF2 tornado after it snapped numerous trees and caused significant damage to at least two homes.

Meanwhile, employees at Gladesboro Elementary School — one of the areas hit the hardest by the storm — are still working with Americorp, God’s Pit Crew, and other volunteers to support the community as the school serves as a shelter for those affected by the tornado.

“Miss Stacy, Wytheville resident, delivered 24 cases of bottled water that she, Food Lion of Wytheville, and Circle K of Wytheville donated! Our Americorp staff greeted children with fun toys! The list could go on and on!” Gladesboro Elementary School wrote on Facebook Thursday. “While we were not open for face to face instruction today, we were able to open our doors for the purpose of helping our neighbors and giving back to a community who has supported GBES throughout the years!”

If you need food, water, or restroom facilities, the elementary school will keep its doors open until 5 p.m. on Thursday.

As of this writing, Appalachian Power says service has been restored to all but 52 customers in Carroll County.



UPDATE 3 p.m.: Cleanup efforts are underway around Carroll County after a possible tornado ripped through the area Wednesday night.

WFXR News spoke with a representative from Carroll County Emergency Services, who says there were reports of high and strong winds that caused plenty of damage, as well as tree debris.

“Other than that Derecho event 10-plus years ago that come through, and a true straight-line weather events, we’ve had some other high wind issues, but nothing that has really, kind of, profiled itself as what we’re dealing with from last night, the extent of the structural damage and those things,” said Gary Bergeron, Carroll County Emergency Services coordinator.

However, crews still need to assess the damage before the NWS can determine whether Wednesday’s storm was a tornado.



UPDATE 10:07 a.m.: Approximately 450 customers in Carroll County are still affected by seven power outages after wind and rain ripped through the area Wednesday night.

As of 9:58 a.m. on Thursday, Appalachian Power says the largest outage is between the Gladesboro and Laurel Fork areas, impacting 416 customers. Crews are expected to restore power by 8 p.m.

Appalachian Power says 416 customers in Carroll County are impacted by the outage marked in orange as of 9:58 a.m. on March 24, 2022. (Photo courtesy: Appalachian Power)

Meanwhile, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is reportedly closing Gladesboro Road while crews get to work surveying and cleaning up after Wednesday’s storm.



UPDATE 8:27 a.m.: Even though Gladesboro Elementary School will be closed for classes on Thursday, Carroll County officials say the school will be open as a shelter to help families impacted by the storm that tore through the area on Wednesday.

According to Carroll County Public Schools, Gladesboro Elementary will provide hot meals, water, and restroom facilities from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday.

While the district said this shelter is meant for those “affected by the tornados that touched down” Wednesday night, the NWS has yet to confirm whether that storm was actually a tornado.

NWS survey teams are set to head down to Carroll County Thursday morning to determine whether the damage in the area was caused by straight line winds or a tornado.

As of 8:14 a.m. on Thursday, Appalachian Power says 616 customers are currently impacted by seven outage cases in Carroll County.



CARROLL COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — WFXR News has a crew in Carroll County Thursday morning, where properties are damaged, hundreds of people are without power, and a school is closed after strong winds and heavy rain tore through the area Wednesday night.

The Carroll County Sheriff’s Office says two homes — both of which were occupied — received significant damage outside of Hillsville, leaving two families displaced. There are no reports of injuries, but those families stayed with friends or family in the area.

At one of those homes, WFXR News’ Amanda Kenney and Hazelmarie Anderson took a look at the damage and were able to see that the house shifted about six inches off its foundation.

(Photo: Amanda Kenney/WFXR News)

In addition, there are a number of downed power poles, trees, branches, and debris around the area.

WFXR News spoke with a neighbor who was also home at the time of the storm and what he remembered about the family in the house that was severely damaged.

“When it hit, he throwed his wife on the floor and run over and grabbed for his little girl and threw her on the floor and he got on top of ’em and he said that he thought it was going to suck him out of the house,” said Carl Sowers, a Carroll County resident.

Sowers told WFXR News he’s lived in the area for more than 60 years and has received plenty of storm and tornado warnings over the years, but he tends to ignore them. After this ordeal, though, he says he’ll never do that again.

“It kind of startled me and I jumped up, but for some reason, it registered to me what it was,” said Sowers. “I was prepared for the roof to come off my house, but I was lucky it didn’t, but it took the south side of my house.”

The National Weather Service is set to come out to Carroll County on Thursday, March 24 to survey the area and see if the damage was from straight line winds or a tornado.

As of 6:43 a.m. on Thursday, Appalachian Power says a total of 619 customers are affected by eight outage cases around Carroll County.

Two of the largest outages — both of which started shortly after 9:45 p.m. on Wednesday, March 23 and are weather-related — are between Laurel Fork and Gladesboro, with one impacting 416 customers and the other affecting 52 customers.

There is also an outage that was reported at 9:15 p.m. on Wednesday and is currently affecting 169 customers near Fancy Gap, but Appalachian Power has not listed a cause for this outage.

These are the three largest outages being reported in Carroll County by Appalachian Power as of 6:43 a.m. on March 24, 2022. (Photo courtesy: Appalachian Power)

Meanwhile, Carroll County Public Schools says that Gladesboro Elementary School — which is very close to the area impacted by the largest outage in the county — will be closed on Thursday due to weather issues from Wednesday night’s storm.

In addition, there will not be bus service for any students in the Gladesboro area, but there will be free student meals available for pickup from 10 to 11 a.m. at Gladesboro Elementary.

This is a developing story.