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The weather event struck a small festival taking place in a field southwest of Bassett.
Sunday, September 15, 2013
An isolated dust devil materialized southwest of Bassett in Henry County on Saturday afternoon, injuring six people.
Patrick Wilson, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Blacksburg, confirmed the weather event, saying it struck a small festival taking place in a field near the town about 4 p.m.
“It was a calm day, actually, but something just spun up right there,” Wilson said. “It lifted several large tied canopy tents into the air and then dropped them on some people.”
Wilson said winds reached an estimated 40 mph during the event.
He said such events commonly happen in desert terrain and that this particular dust devil might have been driven by heat in the field. Wilson said all the injuries in the pop-up storm were minor.
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