Waverly neighbors mourn loss of 2-year-old, vow to help each oth - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Waverly neighbors mourn loss of 2-year-old, vow to help each other rebuild

Storm damage in Waverly. (Source: WRVA) Storm damage in Waverly. (Source: WRVA)

A 2-year-old boy, a 50-year-old man and a 26-year-old man were killed by severe storms in the town of Waverly that damaged at least five structures on Wednesday, Virginia State Police confirmed.

Immediately after the storm hit, neighbors and strangers joined forces in a frantic search to find the 2-year-old. At one point, he was nowhere to be found. As a community grieves the loss, they're also dealing with damage and the reality that rebuilding will take some time.

When one hurts, we all hurt. That was the sentiment in a town that's still coming to terms with the realities of the day: death, destruction, and
resolve to help each other get through the storm.

As first responders raced to find survivors, strangers on the road stopped to do their part.

"I was coming through maybe about 10 minutes before this happened and traffic was backed up,” said Joe Pryor, as someone frantically approached him. "She asked us, ‘Hey, can you come help us look for this baby that's missing,'" he said.

Pryor took to the woods in a desperate search to find a 2-year-old he didn't even know.

"Hear if we could hear the baby cry or something. You want to help. You don't know what's going on. It could be anybody. It could be me, my family, it could be anyone's. You just have to help," said Pryor.

The boy was one of three people that took cover in a mobile home. Only the structure of it now stands after the storm ripped right through it.

"Pray each other's strength as we get through this tragedy,” said Pastor Terrence Green, who spent his afternoon comforting others. Now, his church, Empowerment Temple is in ruins.

"Call the troops together and try to clean up some of the debris,” he added while trying to hold it together.

"It was heartbreaking but it could have been worse. We're still standing and it could've been worse. No way we can have church on Sunday but we'll make it,” he said. "We’re going to come together as a community and just do what we can to rebuild."

The area described by neighbors as a war zone is now a ghost town as neighbors are being told to stay indoors through the night.

Eight people were injured in Waverly due to the storms.

There has been another confirmed death in Appomattox. The storms also knocked out State Police's ability to receive emergency calls in the area.

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