4 dead after severe weather tears through Virginia

Photo courtesy Michael Campbell/Sussex-Surry Dispatch

WAVERLY, Va. (WRIC) — A total of four people were killed Wednesday as severe weather left devastating damage across Central Virginia.

Three of the deaths were reported in the town of Waverly in Sussex County, where a tornado touched down Wednesday afternoon, leaving an excess of damage. The tiny town took the brunt of the storm.

Virginia State Police responded to reports of severe storm damage in Waverly at roughly 2:40 p.m. Officials say a 2-year-old child and two men, ages 50 and 26, were killed there during the storm. Their bodies were found about 300 yards from their mobile home.

At least five structures were damaged in the town of approximately 2,000 and roads leading into town had to be closed because of downed trees and debris tossed by winds gusting to 60 mph, Geller said.

Additionally, at least four other structures were damaged in the town as result of the storm. There are no reports of any missing persons.

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The above photos are courtesy 8News viewers and Michael Campbell with the Sussex-Surry Dispatch. 

Appomattox County

In Appomattox County, a funnel cloud left an 8- to 10-mile path of destruction.

There are seven confirmed injuries and one death resulting from the storm and multiple structures damaged along Route 460 and Route 727, and into the communities of Evergreen and Promise Land. Of the seven injuries, two are serious.

The man who was killed was previously reported as missing. State Police say his body was found near his home, which was destroyed in the storm.

100 buildings were damaged. At least 40 of those building were severely damaged.

Appomattox County has set up two shelters for local residents:

  • The Community Center at 220 Community Lane in the Town of Appomattox
  • Pamplin Fire Department at 2394 Pamplin Road, 434-248-6100

Schools, county offices and courts are closed Thursday as clean up continues through the morning hours and roads are re-opened.

The county has set up a Help Line at 434-352-2637 for residents with up-to-date information and available resources. In addition, the county is posting updates on its Facebook page.

The Appomattox County Sheriff’s Office and Virginia State Police are advising residents to avoid traveling in and around the county. Roads are extremely treacherous due to debris, downed trees and damaged utility poles. There may also be standing/high water in some areas.

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Essex County/Town of Tappahannock 

Shortly after 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Virginia State Police began responding to reports of severe storm damage in Essex County and the Town of Tappahannock.

A tornado has not yet been confirmed in the area. The National Weather Service plans to be in town Thursday to evaluate and assess.

Between 15 and 20 structures suffered significant damage and 25 injuries were reported when the storm passed through Essex County and the town of Tappahannock, about 45 miles northeast of Richmond, state police said. The injuries ranged from minor to serious, but there were no confirmed fatalities.

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Some people are staying at Essex Intermediate School if they’re without a place to stay. Meanwhile, authorities are doing everything they can to help residents.

“We’re going to be flying over going door to door checking wooded areas make sure we didn’t miss anybody and see what we can do to help the survivors from the storm,” Essex County Sheriff Stanley Clarke said.

Authorities have completed a search of all homes in the area. They’re beginning a second sweep Thursday morning. However, authorities say that as far as they know, everyone has been accounted for.

VSP officials say much of the area near Mount Landing, Kino, DeSha and Ridge Roads is shut down due to severe damage. No volunteers are needed at this time as officials are asking people to stay away from the affected areas while crews work to clear the damage.

“Please: I know everybody likes to take pictures and things of that nature, but please if you can stay away from the areas,” Essex Board Chair Stanley Langford said at a press conference Thursday morning. “The roads are closed. We need you to stay away so crews can complete these searches and power can be restored to our citizens.”

VSP spokesperson Sgt. Steve Vick said the area has not experienced a storm of this magnitude in ‘a long time.’

For complete tornado aftermath coverage, click here.

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