Victims wonder if Dinwiddie clean up will ever end

DINWIDDIE, VA (WWBT) – In the four days since a tornado cut an eight mile path through Dinwiddie County, there's progress but recovery will be a gradual process. While the roads are clear and reopened, the rest of the clean up could take years. And the victims don't know if things will ever be the same.

To most people the piles of rubble might look like a huge mess but in Dinwiddie it's actually progress. In the four days since the storm hit they've started to clean up, but this is just a dent in a massive job.

"It's real amazing," Walter Smith told us Monday. "I mean I don't understand why the house is still standing."

A lot has changed since that interview. In just a few days Smith has taken on new skills. Wednesday, we found him as a pig wrangler as the winds destroyed his animal pens. He also struggled to maneuver 500 trees on his Cub Cadet.

"Try to tackle it by taking it a little bit at a time, move it, then come back and move some more of it," he explained.

The Sheffield-Wells family can sympathize.

"It's going to be a never ending job," said Margaret Sheffield, who survived the storm in a closet.

The time lapse there is amazing. Photographs show a barn and shed, which have withstood years of wear and tear. Wednesday, they were in piles of rubble.

"It's hard to look at them," said Rosa Wells, who grew up here. "At times when you look at something like that and think: 'Gee, that's all that's left? I mean a storm did this?'"

With small steps, their resolve remains strong.

"She's a wind chime bird lover and that was the first sign that we were growing is putting what wind chimes were left back on the porch," Wells said.

Most, if not all, of the damage is on private property so the county is still figuring out how it can help.

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