Petersburg tornado causes millions of dollars in damage

PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) - It was a terrifying night for some people in Petersburg. A strong EF0 twister carved a nearly three mile path of destruction, according to the National Weather Service.

Trees are uprooted, 40 homes are damaged, and utility crews were out all day restoring power. It's going to be a multimillion dollar clean-up process that'll most likely take days to finish.

Take a walk down any street in the East Walnut Hill subdivision, and the sound of chainsaws will become familiar sound. It's a mess, but some neighbors say they're just glad they survived.

"It sounded like a train was coming through," said neighbor, Hestill Dabney.

The tornado roared through Danielle Urquhart's street, knocking a tree straight through her front door into her living room.

The impact pinned her wall picture under her sofa, and shatter glass all over her living room. Her backyard looks more like Mother Nature's playground. The 85 mile per hour winds lifted her shed and tossed it into her neighbor's yard.

"I wasn't expecting anything of this nature at all," said Urquhart.

Neither was Hestill Dabney a block over. She and her grandchildren were inside when a large tree fell and left a huge hole in her roof.

"Boom! A big loud sound and you just look to see what was going on," Dabney added.

The tree split in half and uprooted. It's so big and so heavy they'll need a crane to help lift it off the roof.

Crews worked for hours stabilizing the machine to remove roughly 15,000 pounds of tree from the roof. They'll remove the remainder of the tree since it's threatening power lines and houses nearby.

"Yeah. I'm glad they're removing the tree because I don't want it there," said Dabney.

Even though both homes received a lot of damage, the women are just thankful they're okay.

They do have insurance. Even though there was a lot of damage, the National Weather Service says only five people had minor injuries.

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.