Destructive storms spawned tornadoes Monday evening over south-eastern Virginia, damaging hundreds of buildings and leaving about 200 people injured, according to estimates by state officials.
The tornado damage was centred around Suffolk, Virginia, about 300 kilometres south of Washington, reported the dpa.
All but a handful of the injuries were described as minor. There were no immediate reports of fatalities.
The storm produced hail and heavy rain, as well as destructive funnel clouds. Power lines were reported downed in much of the storm- damaged area.
Virginia Governor Tim Kaine issued a disaster declaration late Monday.