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Monday, April 28, 2008

One Dead and at least 200 injured as storms sweep through Virginia

(This Suffolk, Virginia, house was destroyed by an apparent tornado Monday.--Photo CNN)

As massive storms swept through central and southeastern Virginia, one person has been reported dead and at least 200 reported injured.

Suffolk city spokeswoman Dana Woodson said one person died when two apparent tornadoes passed through the city Monday afternoon. Bob Spieldenner from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management said at least 200 others were injured there.

At least 18 others were injured when the storm hit Colonial Heights, Spieldenner said. Three of those were taken to hospitals.

Sentara Obici Hospital in Suffolk was damaged, but remained operational and was accepting patients, Spieldenner said. The injured also were being taken to another hospital in the city, Woodson said.

"Multiple buildings have been destroyed, homes have been destroyed," Woodson said. She said the areas around the hospital and in the community of Driver were hardest hit.

Virginia's Governor, Tim Kaine, declared a Virginia-wide state of emergency as hazardous weather continued through the central part of the state.

Jeff Judkins, the city's emergency management coordinator, said there also were reports of people trapped inside cars. It's the worst damage he's seen in the area, he said.

An emergency shelter will be established by Monday night, Suffolk spokeswoman Dana Woodson said.

There does seem to be a question as to whether the death was a result of the storms or unrelated.