State police: Storm death toll rises, 1 dead in Appomattox

State police: Storm death toll rises, 1 dead in Appomattox

APPOMATTOX, VA (WWBT) - State police confirm a fourth death in the state connected to Wednesday afternoon's storm system.

The most recent fatality was a man in Appomattox County.

The victim was originally reported missing after his house was destroyed by a funnel cloud that swept through the Evergreen and Red House part of the county. His remains will be taken to the Medical Examiner for identification.

Earlier, three people died in Waverly.

Across Appomattox, widespread damage has been reported.

State police responded to several reports of downed trees due to the storm system that passed through the area. Several buildings been damaged along Route 460 and Route 727 in the Evergreen and Promised Land neighborhoods.

Several people were home when the storm hit and tell NBC12 they had very little warning to try to find shelter.

Annette Robinson was home alone. "You couldn't see anything in front of you," she said. "The house started shaking and I immediately went to our basement. Honestly, my life went right in front of me, I've never been this scared."

She said it sounded like a freight train and it lasted for five minutes. "Our trampoline is wrapped around the telephone pole, and then our swing set is in their yard," said Robinson.

But she said they are one of the lucky ones. "I did hear there was a house demolished and there was a family trapped," she said.

Now her family is leaving to stay in a hotel. They were told power won't be back for a few days, and she's now praying for her neighbors who may not have a home to go back too but are lucky to be alive. "Definitely, God was with a lot of us."

Some, on the other hand, were not so lucky because state police could not respond to them.

The Virginia State Police Appomattox Division could not receive emergency calls because the phone lines were down. Crews were working to get the lines back up.

State police said an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 house are without power. The outage affected Amelia, Appomattox, Bedford, Brunswick, Campbell, Charlotte, Dinwiddie, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway and Prince Edward counties, according to Southside Electric.

The most damage happened in Appomattox, between the towns of Red House, Pamplin and Appomattox Courthouse. As crews assessed the damage, they found multiple broken poles, downed lines and trees.

Southside Electric is reminding everyone to stay away to fallen trees or limbs that may be close to power lines. They also say not to remove any downed lines and to "exercise extreme caution."

According to Central Virginia Electric Cooperative (CVEC), the power should be restored by mid-day tomorrow.

Appomattox County officials set up two shelters. One is located at the Community Center, located at 220 Community Lane in Appomattox, and the other is located at the Pamplin Fire Department.

The Appomattox County Sheriff's Office and Virginia State Police are asking residents to not drive in and around the county, especially in the overnight hours due to high water and debris.

All Appomattox County schools are closed Thursday as cleanup continues. Several students are still at Appomattox Primary School, as the school district is working to contact parents. Buses were also canceled for the students' safety.

The county is currently setting up a help line at 434-352-2637. They are also posting updates on their Facebook page.

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