Roads open to hardest hit areas of Dinwiddie County

DINWIDDIE, VA (WWBT) - For the first time, we were allowed into one of the hardest hit areas of Dinwiddie County. The tornado tore an eight mile path through Dewitt.

"We came home to World War Three," said Roger Hanks whose home was hit by a tornado.

Roger Hanks and Linda Noland are lucky they were not home to experience Mother Nature's wrath. The winds the National Weather Service says could have reached 110 miles per hour leaving them with a daunting cleanup and an uncertain future.

"Terrible, not knowing how long you're going to be away from your home and if it's going to be back like it used to be; just don't know," said Roger.

Trees snapped like toothpicks and toppled like dominoes, leaving the Baugus family also without a place to live. A tree crushed the sunroom, where if they had been home, two children would most likely be playing.

Sheets of metal from the carport flew through the air as if they were feathers or pieces of paper; many landing in next door neighbor Walter Smith's yard. Ironically, he moved here from Florida to escape the severe weather.

"All of the sudden I heard this noise, thunder and lightning and everything just broke loose. The wind just came…WAM! Within five minutes it was over with," said Walter.

His story is astonishing--around the property it looks like a bomb exploded, but with the exception of a deck roof, his home was left untouched and the family unharmed.

"It's real amazing. I mean I don't understand why the house is still standing," he said.

Many of these people are still waiting for structural engineers and damage estimates to see whether or not homes like this one are complete losses. Amazingly, only one person was seriously injured during the storm. 

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