Afternoon storms could bring power outage, threat of flooding

Published 11:29 am Monday, June 26, 2023

Wind speeds from the coming storms could reach the size of a level one tornado. You can also expect a potential power outage and a bit of flooding. That was the update Monday morning from the National Weather Service station out of Wakefield, advising people to be careful when making plans for this afternoon. The Wakefield station has upgraded the threat level for Farmville and the surrounding areas through Monday night to a 3 (out of 5) for dangerous weather. 

The Wakefield station has been tracking a system for several days, one that continues to grow. And when they say it could reach the wind speed of a tornado, they’re not joking. 

“The main threat is damaging wind gusts, with large hail also possible,” the Wakefield group told The Herald in a statement. “There is a significant threat of organized severe thunderstorms for Monday afternoon and evening.” 

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Those wind gusts are expected to hit up to 75-80 mph. Those severe thunderstorms will also bring quarter-sized hail and a lot of rain in a short period of time, the Wakefield forecasters said. As a result, Buckingham, Cumberland, Prince Edward and the surrounding counties will also be at risk for flash flooding. 

The main concern is for the period from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., with the heaviest storms expected to be heading to the cost by 6 p.m. However, National Weather Service staff emphasize that even though the main threats should be gone by then, pop-up severe storms could show up through 11 p.m. tonight. 

Power outage, weather warnings 

One more issue is that due to the upgraded alert, Farmville will be at risk of at least one tornado, the National Weather Service officials say. You’re going to hear several alerts this afternoon, so to be clear, here’s the difference. A tornado watch means tornadoes are possible in and around the area. Conditions are favorable but nothing’s been seen yet. A tornado warning means either radar or human eyes have actually seen the funnel cloud. 

If a tornado warning gets issued, that means it’s time to move to an underground shelter, a basement or room in the house without windows. 

As for potential power outages, electric companies say they have groups on standby, just in case things do get out of control. If your lights do go out, Dominion customers can call 1-866-366-4357 and Southside Electric folks can call 1-866-878-5514.