NORFOLK -- A strong storm blew through Hampton Roads overnight, causing power to go out at thousands of homes and causing some trees and light poles to fall over.
Three families in Newport News had to leave their homes when a large tree fell on an apartment complex in the 5000 block of Arlington Avenue, said Battalion Chief Jack Carper. The three units were condemned.
In another incident, Carper said one person was taken to the hospital after a tree hit a house on Daphia Circle. That home was condemned as was a home on Church Road. A pine tree fell onto the roof and several tree limbs landed on cars parked in the driveway.
Robert Reynolds, a neighbor on Church Road, posted this information n our Facebook page: 'Thick pine tree at least 100 ft. tall got cut in two by the wind. 5 people, including 2 kids and 2 dogs inside came out, no injuries.'
Jeff Barley and his family are grateful that things aren't worse. Everyone was asleep when the storm hit.
'I didn't know anything until everything started shaking and rumbling. (It) sounded like thunder and when the house started moving, there was more of that and then the tree came through,' he said.
According to the National Weather Service, NorfolkInternational Airport recorded wind gusts of 61 miles per hour at 2:51 a.m. Thursday.
That was about the time many people said they were heard and saw the worst of it. Ebony Brinkley posted on the 13News Daybreak Facebook page: 'The strong winds knocked out my lights about 3am in my Hampton area.'
Dominion Power says the outage affected some schools, but most had power restored by mid-morning.
Mike Bartlett posted on the WVEC13 Facebook page that school officials at Booker Elementary in Hampton were telling parents to bring their children back home if possible.
Hampton Schools spokeswoman Ann Stephens told WVEC.com that operations at the school were going well, despite the outage.
'The students are in, have had their breakfast and at this point sandwiches are being prepared for lunch,' she said.
She said power was back on around 11:40 a.m.
The only delay from the power being out was in Southampton Co., where classes started two hours late.
There were power lines down in several cities, causing some traffic lights to fail. Police were out along High Street in Portsmouth directing traffic.
Power outages at schools:
Lindenwood Elem.-back on by 10:15 a.m.
Madison Career Center-back on by 7:00 a.m.
Larchmont Elem.-back on by 8:10am;
Granby High - back on by 7:50 a.m.
Linkhorn Park Elem.-back on by 7:50 a.m.
William and Mary - Law School, Grad Housing Population Lab-back on by 8:30 a.m.
Booker Elem.-back on at 11:40am
Elizabeth City, NC:
Thurgood Marshall Primary School-back on before school started