RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Residents across the Central Virginia region sheltered in place Thursday afternoon amid severe storms and a tornado warning extending across several counties.

School Closures

Students at public schools in Richmond, Chesterfield, Henrico, Hanover and Powhatan were told to shelter in place starting around 1:45 pm.

“Students, faculty and staff are sheltering in place inside our schools,” said a tweet from Hanover County Public Schools. “They will remain in place until the warning is lifted.”

Buses were also held for nearly an hour, with parents in Henrico and Powhatan warned that buses would be delayed at all grade levels.

After school activities were cancelled in many school divisions, including Henrico and Chesterfield.

Students at institutions of higher learning were also warned to stay inside. Students at John Tyler Community College’s Midlothian Campus were told to move to a severe weather shelter until 2:20 pm, when the warning was lifted for their area.

The University of Richmond announced in a tweet that students and faculty are sheltering in place as well.

Meanwhile, students at the University of Richmond and VCU were warned to shelter in place, with VCU maintaining their warning until 2:45 pm.

Tornado Sirens sounding in Henrico County. (Video courtesy of Hugh Elwood)

Other Closures

The GRTC Customer Service Center was closed until the expiration of the tornado warning.

An Amtrak train was briefly astopped on the downtown expressway in Richmond, but service has since resumed. travelers on lines passing through downtown Richmond, Ettrick and Staples Mill can expect some delays.

Seven flights out of Richmond International Airport have been cancelled. There is no conformation as to whether the cancellations are due to severe weather, but flight plans show many were in the path of the storm.

Staff, volunteers and customers are sheltering in place at Richmond SPCA as well. They announced in a tweet that their veterinary hospital will resume appointments when it is safe to do so.

Sadly, all park and school fields in Hanover have been closed, so rec league sports will be cancelled.