EF-1 Tornado Kills Couple, Injures Son at Virginia Campground

By ABC News

Jul 24, 2014 6:32pm

Police have identified a couple who were killed in their tent as a tornado ripped through a packed campground on the eastern shore of Virginia early today, injuring two dozen people.

Ferocious winds twisted trailers and mangled trees as golf ball-sized hail rained on more than 1,300 panicked vacationers huddling for safety at the Cherrystone Family Camping Ground and RV Resort in Northampton, Virginia.

AP campground storm mar 140724 16x9 608 EF 1 Tornado Kills Couple, Injures Son at Virginia Campground

L. Todd Spencer, The Virginian-Pilot/AP Photo

During a news conference today, Virginia State Police said a tree had fallen, killing a husband and wife, Lord Balatbat and Lolabeth Ortega, both 38, of Jersey City, New Jersey, in one tent and critically injuring their 13-year-old son in a nearby tent.

“We’re in a 37-foot motorhome and it started rolling back and forth and we’re hearing stuff slamming,” said Jerry Kennett.

Northampton County had been under a tornado warning until 9 a.m.

Winds up to 100 mph. snapped trees and flipped a tractor-trailer. After surveying the damage, the National Weather Service confirmed it was an EF-1 tornado.

“All the sudden, the wind started picking up, hail [the] size of golf balls … and you could see the wind spinning and it would change direction,” said Peyton Asal. “I mean, we were in the eye of this tornado. … It was scary.”

A total of 38 people were taken to hospitals with broken bones, lacerations and cuts.

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