Virginia man killed in a flash flood of Florence remains

Sierra Price and son, Ryland, Ross, 10 months, waiting outside their house on Julian and Glendale Streets, when the work begins on cleaning the area in the vicinity of Richmond,Virginia, on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018, the day after Florence came tornado caused damage and claimed a life in the area.( Joe Mahoney/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

RICHMOND, Va. – A Virginia man was killed Tuesday after his pickup truck was overtaken by the rushing water during a flash flood caused by the remnants of Hurricane Florence.

The Virginia State Police said the pickup was found upside down and submerged in the water, that had flooded Route 607 in Louisa early Tuesday.

The police said it turns out that Richard Edward Kelih, Jr., 59, was attempting to cross the road when the water began to rush to his vehicle.

It is the second death in Virginia attributed to Florence. On Monday, an employee of a flooring company died when a tornado landed in Chesterfield, just south of Richmond.

The man’s identity has not yet been released. Chesterfield Fire/EMS spokesman Lt. Elmore James said the man was found dead under a pile of rubble. A second person was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

The building was almost leveled. The roof blew out and debris was sent hundreds of feet (metres) parking spaces in the small industrial park where the company is located.

Elmore said on four areas of Chesterfield received storm damage. The trees had fallen and there was some structural damage.

The Chesterfield tornado is categorized by the National Weather Service in Wakefield, Virginia, as an EF2, with winds up to 120 miles (about 190 kilometers per hour.

Meteorologist Mike Rusnak confirmed that there is a second, less powerful, tornado touched down Monday near Chase City, in Mecklenburg County, Virginia, near the border with North Carolina. That tornado had wind speeds of 80 to 85 km (about 130 to 135 km / hour) per hour.

“This is all of a tropical connection with Florence,” Rusnak said.

Mecklenburg County Sheriff Bobby Hawkins said the tornado appeared to skip along the ground to hit down, then up, then touch down again. Hawkins said the storm broken trees, damaged a number of houses and washed out some highways, but no one was injured.

Hawkins said the farmers and others in the rural community immediately came together to help each other. Cleaning was well on his way Tuesday.

“We have a lot of Bubbas around here with electric saws, and we can clear a road in five minutes,” Hawkins said. “They don’t have to wait on someone to tell them to do it.”

Rusnak said National Weather Service teams were on Tuesday assessing the damage and working to determine whether additional tornadoes touched down.

The weather service more than a dozen tornado warnings across several Virginia counties on Monday.

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