Several homes have been destroyed and multiple downed trees have been reported in Franklin County, where the National Weather Service says a tornado touched down Friday morning.
The tornado was reported at 10:35 a.m. over Sontag, just south of Rocky Mount, moving northeast at 45 mph, according to the weather service. There also were reports of quarter-sized hail and flying debris.
Damage has been reported in the area of Sontag Road and Windy Ridge Road, according to Vance Joyner, meteorologist and forecaster with the National Weather Service in Blacksburg.
An official survey from meteorologists will have to take place for official confirmation and to determine the tornado's strength, Joyner said. That could happen Saturday, he said.
Early storm reports from the National Weather Service website report multiple downed trees, a modular home destroyed and a roof blown off of a house near U.S. 220 in Franklin County. There was also a report of a rescue squad crash in the Sontag area and damage to other buildings. U.S. 220 from Goose Dam Road to Pleasant Hill Road in Franklin County is closed due to a tree down in the road, according to Virginia Department of Transportation website.
The rest of the Roanoke and New River valleys remains under a tornado watch until 5 p.m.
Joyner said there hadn't been much reporting of flooding as of noon Friday, but it could become an issue later in the day. Over the next several hours there will be severe storms in isolated areas across the region. A main squall line is moving into the area from 3 to 5 p.m. with further potential for severe weather and storm damage, he said.
The weather service asks people to stay safe, but when possible send reports of wind damage, hail, flooding or other damage to any of its social media pages, by emailing email@example.com or calling 866-215-4324.