National Weather Service confirms two tornadoes in D.C. blocks from campus

A tornado touched down in the District Thursday, ripping through the National Mall and downing trees just blocks away from campus.

The National Weather Service confirmed Saturday that two tornadoes touched down in Arlington and D.C. during Thursday’s thunderstorms – the first to be confirmed in more than four years, with the most recent coming in April 2017. The first of Thursday’s tornadoes formed in Arlington and likely crossed the Potomac River before passing through the National Mall parallel to Constitution Avenue and coming within around two blocks of the White House, according to the National Weather Service.

DCist reported that the tornado injured one resident, who was briefly trapped between fallen tree limbs, and damaged temporary fencing near the Ellipse set up for the Fourth of July. 

The tornado was rated EF1, the second weakest tornado rating on the EF scale that ranges from 0 to 5, with 5 being the strongest. 

The University alerted campus residents of a NWS weather service advisory at approximately 9:18 p.m. Thursday, urging students to seek shelter indoors.

“There is a TORNADO WARNING in this area until 9:30 PM EDT,” the advisory states. “Take shelter now in a basement or an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building. If you are outdoors, in a mobile home or in a vehicle, move to the closest substantial shelter and protect yourself from flying debris.”

The second tornado, rated an EF0, touched down ten minutes later on the H Street Corridor in Northeast D.C., downing multiple trees and damaging at least two cars, DCist reported.

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