Tornado rips through Dinwiddie, damage seen state-wide

By: Laura Geller - bio | email

By: Deon Guillory - bio | email

DINWIDDIE, VA (WWBT) - Clean-up efforts continue across the region after Saturday's severe weather. In Dinwiddie, National Weather Service investigators say a tornado is to blame for the destruction.

Faye Coleman and Charles Townsend know the true meaning of friendship. After weathering Saturday's storms. They, along with neighbors, are helping each other clean up.

"Family and friends have come through, brought tarps, just really rallied together," said Coleman.

What's described as a tornado, was seen in Dewitt and ripped the roof off of Faye's home. Her 16-year-old son was inside as the twister moved through. He knew to run for cover.

"He was in the closet with a mattress pulled on top of him," said Coleman. "As long as my child was fine, I was really happy."

The storm left behind more damage at Charles's house.

"We saw the tornado," he said. "It touched down there, hit a pond, blowed down trees, all these sheds, buildings down here. It tore down, took the roof off everything. Trees, what it didn't break off, it just popped them out of the ground."

In the Five Forks area near the battlefield a power pole snapped leaving power lines on the ground. A barn's roof blown off, the siding tossed into a tree. With all the damage everyone back in Dewitt.

"One good thing didn't anybody get hurt, so that's a plus," said Townsend. "All this stuff can be replaced; didn't nobody lose a life. Thank goodness."

Just west of Dinwiddie, in Lunenburg county, 25 homes were damaged and one destroyed. Roger Toone owns the now demolished structure. He and his family were out shopping when the storm hit.

"Thank God we weren't home," he said. "We could have been in there. And someone could have gotten seriously hurt. The tree is inside my grandchild's bedroom. The tree is through the ceiling and it's laying on her bed and she could have been playing there."

Victoria Fire Chief Rodney Newton agrees, the Toones and all of Lunenburg County are lucky. The storm blew through sparsely populated areas. Daylight will bring more work.

"We'll go back and we're going to do more damage assessment," he said. "Maybe some public education to help people get ready for the next time."

The Toones, like many in damaged homes in this area, will stay with relatives, unsure of what lies ahead.

"One day at a time," he said. "They've condemned the house, so we've got to take one day at a time."

The Lunenberg fire chief says there were heavy winds, but so far there has not been any confirmed reports that a tornado touched down.

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