Governor tours tornado-ravaged Gloucester

GLOUCESTER, VA (WWBT) – State aid continues to funnel in to Gloucester County, home to some of the worst tornado damage in Virginia. Monday, Gov. Bob McDonnell saw firsthand the devastation left behind.

From the air, it's a path of destruction 12 miles long. But on the ground, it's like a blessing...says Gov. Bob McDonnell.

"It's amazing and a great blessing that we didn't have more people hurt," McDonnell said.

Two people died and dozens more were hurt in Gloucester, though none were at Page Middle School, which the governor toured Monday morning before seeing a neighborhood that looked just as bad.

The tornado that came through Gloucester had winds over 100 mph. It ripped roofs off of houses, and in at least one case, ripped a house right off its foundation.

As a result, Cindy Robins said the neighborhood became almost like a tourist attraction.

"Yesterday was TERRIBLE! They were out for a Sunday drive, and there was a 45 minute backup, north and southbound, just of sightsee-ers," Robins said.

Yet the work goes on. Neighbors helping neighbors put their lives back together...with a sign of inspiration amid the rubble. It said: "No Matter What Trust God".

"Gloucester people are good. There's a lot more good people here than I thought there was," said neighbor Heather Davis.

Back at the school...the band room calendar may have to be adjusted. But if nothing else, 2011 will be a lesson in what matters.

"Buildings, and bricks and mortar can be replaced and we'll do that over time, but if this had occurred during a school day, then it could've been much much worse," said Dr. Ben Kiser, superintendent of schools.

There are two Middle Schools in Gloucester County, and right now the plan is to merge the students from both of them into one building under a split schedule so all of the students can finish out the year on time.

Most Gloucester public schools will re-open Tuesday. According to the superintendent, middle schoolers will resume classes Wednesday.

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