‘It sounded like a bomb went off’: Charles City Co. residents describe EF-2 tornado

‘It sounded like a bomb went off’: Charles City Co. residents describe EF-2 tornado

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - It looks like a long journey to recovery for some Charles City County residents.

One man was inside his home with his family when the EF-2 tornado roared through - barely missing his house.

“It sounded like a train was coming through. It was a big roaring sound, and it was so loud the house was shaking,” one homeowner, who did not want to be identified, said.

Trees snapped like toothpicks in his back yard, shingles ripped off his roof and he’s thankful it wasn’t worse.

“What are we going to do next?” Bobby Cotman said.

Following the tornado’s path just one street over, the Ruthville Rod and Gun Club’s historic building is now destroyed.

The National Weather Service confirms winds reached up to 135 mph in the area.

“It looks like a total loss. It doesn’t look like we are going to be able to save anything. All the exterior walls are damaged, so they will all have to come down,” Bobby Cotman said.

For over seven decades, the club united the community.

“A place of camaraderie and to be with friends. They are basically family,” Cotman said.

“It was like my second home. I’m looking at it now and it’s a tragedy. We will try and come back,” another club member said.

Usually on a Friday night the club would be a place where people gathered. Luckily, they closed for the storms. There were 20 hunting dogs on the property in their cages. The good news, they all survived

“It looked as if a bomb had went off,” a homeowner said.

One more street over, it was the last stop in the tornado’s path.

“I’m thanking God I’m alive today,” the homeowner said.

When the alerts went off, he and his wife decided to leave.

“I really feel if we would have stayed here and rode the storm out, all of this would have been in this house," the man said.

There were trees on cars and tables thrown all over the yard.

“We had a trampoline, a grill. You can see the trampoline on top of all the trees that fell,” he said.

A mattress that was in his backyard was thrown across the street.

“I said, 'how in the hell?”

As the family counts their blessings and shifts into clean up mode, this homeowner now warns others to listen to weather warnings.

“Let’s stay here. No, it’s not worth it. You don’t know what Mother Nature is going to do to you,” he said.

Officials say no one was injured or killed in Charles City County.

One thing very clear from all the residents, they will rebuild.

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