Gov. McAuliffe: ‘Very sad situation’

Virginia's governor visits hard-hit areas, surveys storm damage across the state

Governor Terry McAuliffe surveys the damage in Waverly Thursday afternoon.

WAVERLY, Va. (WRIC/WSLS) — Governor Terry McAuliffe made several stops across Virginia Thursday to assess damage and meet with both first responders and victims dealing with the aftermath of Wednesday’s deadly storms.

McAuliffe’s first stop Thursday was Appomattox County, which the National Weather Service confirms was hit by a EF-3 tornado on Wednesday.

During a brief news conference at Evergreen Baptist Church, McAuliffe said when he flew in Thursday morning there was a trail of damage about 12 to 15 miles long on the ground.

McAuliffe toured the community of Evergreen, where the county’s one fatality, 78-year-old Edward K. Harris, was living before being thrown from his residence when the tornado struck his mobile home. 

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He said the state has 30 days to assess all of the damage and apply for emergency management funds from the federal government.

McAuliffe also commended county and school officials for their decision to keep students in school rather than sending them home during Wednesday’s storm. He said that decision helped limit injuries.

The governor’s next stop was the Town of Waverly in Sussex County, where three people were killed and numerous were homes destroyed by an EF-1 tornado that produced 100-100 mph winds. One of the victims was a 2-year-old boy.

“The mother I just talked to, you know, she doesn’t have the money to bury her child,” McAuliffe said. “They don’t have any clothes. She said what little money she did have was blown away.”

Anyone looking to assist the victims or make a donation can call 1-800-RED-CROSS or text “redcross” to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Stay with 8News for continuing coverage of this developing story.

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