Hampton Roads Weather

How to prepare for unpredictable tornadoes

Kirk Putrell stood on his front porch Saturday night, after he had just listened to the television newscasters warn about tornadoes.

"I heard them say 'Surry,' so I thought we were going to be OK," Putrell said. "I thought that little breeze felt good, so I stood outside for a minute. I didn't think it was going to be anywhere near us."

But a few moments later, the wind picked up, and what had been a light breeze turned into a violent tornado that spun through the Grove area of James City County where Putrell lives.

"It sounded like a freight train and the trees were bent all the way to the ground," said Putrell, who lives on Magruder...