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‘It was just unreal’: Tuesday’s severe thunderstorm leaves damage in its wake

Storm on May 4, 2021 produces strongest Thunderstorm winds since 1995
Updated: May. 10, 2021 at 3:10 PM EDT
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LOUISA COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - A Louisa County family is thankful to have escaped injuries during Tuesday’s severe thunderstorm, which left part of their farm damaged.

Ann Terrell was caught up in the thick of the storm and watched as pieces of buildings flew off around her.

“It was just unreal,” Terrell said.

Terrell recalled hustling to her car after putting away the lawnmower when she saw the siding of the barn rip off and the cement blocks to the silo tumble down. Then there is what happened to the shed which houses the lawnmower and a Camaro.

“That literally flew over my vehicle,” Terrell said. “Then my car was lifted up, shook and then moved and placed in a different place where I had it.”

“She’s still really shook up; really shook up,” said Sasha Terrell, Ann’s daughter-in-law.

However, Sasha said her mother-in-law was lucky. The car she was parked next to, ended up on its roof.

“I looked in my rearview mirror and I saw it tumbling,” Terrell said. “God was with me.”

“I guess it shows you that a vehicle is not always the safest place to be in a storm if it can flip a car, even in thunderstorm winds,” Sasha added.

Much of Louisa County and the surrounding areas were under a severe thunderstorm warning when mother nature came blowing.

“Those are issued by the National Weather Service when it looks like there will be 60-mile per hour winds or greater, or some large hail,” said NBC12 meteorologist Andrew Freiden.

The storm left more than 9,000 customers without power across Rappahannock Electric Cooperative and Dominion Energy. Crews worked all night and into Wednesday to restore power to homes, including the Terrells’.

Meanwhile, cleanup is already underway at the farm, but there are still some concerns. Part of the roof on the barn still flaps in the wind and the silo is in need of repair after a good portion was taken down.

“Just the fact that wind can do that to something like a concrete silo is mind-blowing,” Sasha said.

“A severe thunderstorm, when it produces wind damage it produces damage all in the same direction,” Freiden said. “There’s a huge burst of wind that comes out of the storm, it hits the ground, and it just spreads in a straight line.”

Terrell recalled seeing something along those lines.

“I figured it was not a tornado because I did not actually see the funnel cloud, but I knew I was in something,” she said. “The color… was just like this dark gray cloud that came over everything here; it just started ripping everything apart.”

Now the family is now prepared and aware of what could happen in the future.

“Don’t underestimate what weather can do,” Sasha said. “The fact it could flip that car over - it shocked me.”

“I don’t want to ever experience anything like this ever again,” Terrell said.

The insurance company is expected to provide an estimate of the damage to the farm.

Meanwhile, the Camaro escaped unscathed, however, Sasha’s car did have some damage as well.

Click here to read the NWS’ technical report on this historic storm

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