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Utility poles broken during tornadoes transformed into school batting cages

Posted at 6:43 PM, Mar 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-17 18:49:18-04

PRINCE EDWARD, Va. -- Dominion Virginia Power has donated old utility power poles, along with labor, that will be transformed into two batting cages for a local middle school in Prince Edward.

"I think it's awesome,” said Johnny Holman, a middle school baseball player

The poles were all damaged during the recent Appomattox tornado and salvaged by Dominion crews, specifically for this purpose.

On Feb. 24, an EF-3 tornado with a 13 mile long and 400 yards wide path left seven people injured and one dead.

The wind speed ranged from 136 to 165 mph and damaged over 100 homes and structures, including one well-belt brick house.

"It's really great to help out this here from what the devastation was up there,” said Mike Harvanek, with Dominion Virginia Power.

The donation of the poles and labor also saved the school a lot of money.

"You're probably talking between four and five thousand dollars,” said Brandon Kenny, Athletic Director.

"It frees up some additional funds for the Athletic Department to put into uniforms for the teams, team equipment, travel to competition,” said David Smith, Superintendent Prince Edward Co. Schools.

It's estimated hundreds of students, along with middle and high school baseball and softball players, will

"I think it's going to help people for the school, might even encourage some new people to come out for sports,” said Johnny Holman, middle school baseball player.

For the crew putting it all together, the project is about more than just work.

"Anytime you can help a kid out is great,” said Harvanek.

"We're just very thankful for it,” said Jaden Capati, middle school softball player.