NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY, Va (WRIC) — People who live in Northumberland County are cleaning up debris after one woman’s home was destroyed and others were damaged by an EF2 tornado that ripped through the area Monday.
The National Weather Service in Wakefield confirmed on Monday a tornado touched down, but didn’t give it an EF2 rating until Tuesday.
Florence Charlie is 88 and lives with her husband in a home along Chambers Lane. The twister not only destroyed her porch but also collapsed her garage ceiling and walls onto her car.
Charlie told 8News Tuesday that faith is what kept she and her husband alive.
“It was unbelievable,” she said, touring her home to assess the damage.
Her niece, Neada Corbin, wasn’t at home next door when the tornado touched down. Corbin’s home of 40 years was destroyed.
“I told my sister, I said [Neada’s] house is gone. She said, gone where? I said, the storm we had!” Charlie said.
Charlie’s own back porch and garage are now a pile of debris, with uprooted trees seen all over her property.
Charlie and her husband Ernest were at home when it touched down Monday.
“I was afraid the glass was going to crack and come in. That was my biggest fear,” she said.
Charlie got her husband in this bathtub and ran to get in the other one to keep herself safe too.
“As I went past the window, that’s when I saw all these things flying in the air,” she described.
Damage left to a home Charlie’s created memories in for over three decades with her nieces and nephews, whom she calls her own.
“They always loved to come to visit,” she smiled.
National Weather Service warning coordination meteorologist Eric Seymour said Northumberland’s seen weather like this more than once here lately — the most recent being Hurricane Isaias.
“Unfortunately this is something now that we’ve seen twice in the last six or seven months move through the area,” he said.
After assessing the damage Tuesday, meteorologists with the National Weather Service are marking Monday’s tornado as an EF2 tornado. They say the tornado traveled through the area for about five miles.
The tornado had wind speeds of around 115 miles per hour. Its first touch down was on Richmond Road, or Highway 360, where it crossed the road twice.
After traveling through the area, the twister dissipated as it got to the Coan River.
Meteorologists said the winds were most intense around Chambers Lane where Corbin’s house was destroyed.