TAPPAHANNOCK, Va. (WRIC) — Residents in Tappahannock are out and about Thursday cleaning up after a nasty storm swept through the area on Wednesday.
Shortly after 8:30 p.m. yesterday, 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, though 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.
VSP spokesperson Sgt. Steve Vick said the area has not experienced a storm of this magnitude in ‘a long time.’
Authorities are doing everything they can to help residents. They completed a search of all homes in the area on Wednesday and conducted a second sweep Thursday morning.
“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.
Officials say that as far as they know, everyone has been accounted for.
Local resident Buster Tharp spoke to 8News and detailed how some of his family members were injured in the storm.
“He said it was basically like a freight train rushing through his house,” Tharp said. “He got him and his family down in the lower, small closet, tried to protect them. He woke up underneath his truck, you know, 40 yards away. His little boy was over in the field.”
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.”