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Virginia Tornado Warning: Dulles Airport Passengers Moved Underground, 60,000 Residents Without Power

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Due to a tornado warning issued for North Virginia, flight passengers were evacuated from the terminals of the Dulles International Airport and moved underground. In this photo, lightning strikes during a thunderstorm in Las Vegas, July 6, 2015. Photo: Getty Images/ Ethan Miller

By Pritha Paul, International Business Times - Business

Due to a tornado warning issued for North Virginia, flight passengers were evacuated from the terminals of the Dulles International Airport and moved underground Monday.

Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority spokesperson Andrew Trull explained the airport was not officially evacuated but people were encouraged to move to the interior portion of the facility “and that included the [underground] AeroTrain.”

Apart from Dulles Airport tweeting frequent updates regarding the severe weather, many passengers also took to social media to post photos and videos of the condition inside the airport and around the area:

In the photos, people were seen huddled together underground. Around 6:30 p.m. EDT the airport was struck by heavy rain accompanied by hail.

Although the runways reopened and normal airport operations resumed after the storm warning was lifted later in the day, officials said the aftereffects of the severe weather could result in flight delays.

The Dulles Airport tweeted a breathtaking view of the runway, drenched in the hue of the setting sun, as the storm cleared:

Apart from the Dulles Airport, planes were also grounded at the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport during the duration of the tornado warning.

Meanwhile, thousands of homes in Northern Virginia went without power after severe storm warnings were issued for parts of Culpeper, Fairfax, Fauquier, Prince George's and Prince William among other counties.

Several power lines were downed by thunderstorms, leaving residents in dark. More than 1,000 people lost power in Montgomery and Prince George's counties alone.

By 10:30 EDT, around 62,000 Virginia residents were estimated to be without power. This includes more than 60,000 Dominion Energy customers and 2000 NOVEC customers.

Up to two inches of rain fell in the area, according to the National Weather Service. Storms were accompanied by winds of 60 mph. Gusts of up to 75 mph were expected.

The thunderstorms also caused some property damage. A couple of houses two miles from Takoma, Virginia, were struck by lightning and caught fire. More than 100 firefighters responded to the scene. According to the fire department, no one was injured.

In another instance, a tree branch flew into a car, shattering its windshield as it drove down Route 7 in Vienna, Virginia, NBC Washington reported.

Due to the severe weather, schools in Spotsylvania County will remain closed Tuesday. On the other hand, schools in Page County will open two hours late.

Severe weather is expected to last through Tuesday afternoon in Virginia with damaging winds, lightning and heavy rain moving into the area.

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U.S. - U.S. Daily News: Virginia Tornado Warning: Dulles Airport Passengers Moved Underground, 60,000 Residents Without Power
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