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Fast-moving storm, possible tornado damages gas stations in Tysons

(Updated at 12:03 p.m.) Intense rains inundated parts of Fairfax County last night (Thursday) as a storm damaged two gas station and caused alerts for a tornado that were later canceled.

Yesterday’s weather brought high speed winds of 35 mph and wind gusts as strong as 51 mph, the National Weather Service reported after the storm quickly swept through. Tysons and Centreville also saw possible tornado touchdowns.

Sunoco employee Dean Kelly was working at the gas station on Chain Bridge Road in Tysons after the weather event. While he didn’t see it, he said his coworker described a loud sound and took cover.

The gas pumps were shut off last night and yellow caution tape placed around the whole complex, he said. Two of the three poles under the gas station’s overhang were damaged, as well.

He said he was on his way into work when he realized something happened.

“I saw camera crews and thought, ‘What the heck is going on,'” he said.

The gas station told FFXnow this morning (Friday) that they’re temporarily closed, and tape stills surrounds the station.

The storm also damaged a roof at the adjacent Mobil gas station, WTOP reported.

A worker addressing the aftermath noted damage to the station’s awning, roof and garage.

“We hope they’re going to cover it,” he said when asked about insurance.

Vehicles were using the pumps there this morning (Friday).

National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Lee said they were getting resources together this morning to prepare to survey the event and determine if it was a tornado, based on if the atmosphere was conducive to it, if there’s radar evidence of a vortex, and damage.

“We’re aware of the potential of a tornado in Fairfax County,” he said.

A Dominion Energy power outage map only showed around 100 customers without electricity, primarily in a section of Annandale. The company said the power line damage there should be repaired between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. today.

Other outages involved over 600 customers in Annandale, with an estimated time of restoration between 1-6 p.m. Dominion spokesperson Peggy Fox said that projects near Commons Drive are emergency work for wires down due to storm damage.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue said they didn’t respond to anything out of the ordinary.

“Fortunately, there were no injuries in Fairfax County during Thursday night’s severe storms,” county spokesman Tony Castrilli said just before noon today. “In the Tysons area some commercial buildings did sustain damage and several roads were closed following the storm. All roadways are now open. No county facilities were damaged, and all county operations are normal today.”

Residents can report any downed trees or wires to the county. Guidance on who to call is on the county’s website.

David Taube contributed to this report.

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