Weather service confirms Hampshire tornadoes

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Jul. 19—ROMNEY, W.Va. — A powerful storm that caused extensive tree and property damage over a 9-mile wide, 23-mile long section of southern Hampshire County on July 12 was the product of a macroburst and two short-lived tornadoes, the National Weather Service said Monday.

In a public information statement, the weather service said the storm produced winds from 60 to 105 mph and damage was found as far west as Purgitsville. The most detectable damage, however, started near the Potomac River south of Romney.

The weather service said significant damage was done to a farm along Arnold Farm Lane by an EF-0 tornado packing winds estimated at 85 mph. An open-face barn was destroyed and its roof thrown into the top of a silo, severely damaging that structure. A portion of a roof on another barn was dislodged, and the roof on the farmhouse peeled up, but not removed.

The storm continued east into the valley between Nathaniel and Short mountains where additional tree damage occurred.

The "most impressive damage" in that valley, according to the weather service, was near Kirby where numerous trees were snapped or uprooted by wind and leaves were removed from any trees that remained by wind-driven hail.

Two-inch diameter hail fell near Kirby, and accumulating, golf ball-sized hail damaged vehicles near Hampshire Gas Company on Grassy Lick Road, the weather service said. A 102 mph wind gust was recorded on a personal weather station near that location.

The storm continued to move east over Short Mountain toward Delray where most of the damage, including trees that were uprooted onto vehicles and structures, was the result of straight line winds, according to the weather service.

One residence on Buck Run had damage determined to be caused by an EF1 tornado with winds estimated at 100 mph, the weather service said. Downed trees fell across each other in spots, a load bearing pillar of a house was blown out and an enclosed trailer was blown up and over a vehicle, then about 100 yards down a hill, the weather service said.

Trees were also snapped or uprooted at Yellow Spring, Capon Lake and Capon Springs.

The weather service said the storm continued east and produced more sporadic damaged nearly all the way to the Atlantic Ocean.