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Scars from deadly, destructive tornado outbreak still visible one month later

Posted at 7:21 PM, Mar 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-25 00:38:28-04

WAVERLY, Va. -- One month ago, a tornado outbreak across Virginia took lives, destroyed livelihoods, and left behind millions of dollars of destruction.

CBS 6 reporter Wayne Covil visited the Waverly community and spoke to people about where they were that day and how they have recovered.

The Waverly tornado hit around 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 24. It was 300 yards wide and nine miles long. It moved through quickly, destroying numerous structures with winds up to 110 mph.

But the repair is taking much longer.

Hear from the community in Wayne's report.

Appomattox County

School officials in Appomattox are now talking about how that day played out.

An EF-3 tornado touched down at around 3:30 p.m. and stayed on the ground for 16 minutes.

On a normal day, school buses would be loading up at that time to take students home.

The Appomattox superintendent made the quick decision to hold every student at their respective school.

“If we had sent them home at that time, the tornado would have touched down on the road with a bus full of children – it would have been terrible,” said Dr. Dorinda G. Grasty.

Tappahannock/ Essex County

Earlier today CBS 6 Chief Meteorologist Zach Daniel visited people on the other side of the river, in Tappahannock.

The damage left behind by the tornado is still evident, and widespread in that community.

Massive piles of debris and rubble litter fields and roadsides.Many driveways lead to nothing but patches of dirt, or concrete slabs.

But the resolve of the people who live there remains strong.

We stopped to talk to a family still flying the American flag on a pole that was snapped in half during the storm.

They say they are grateful to be alive, and for the support of their neighbors.

We also asked CBS 6 Facebook friends where they were that day, and what they remember.

Their responses are below.