Irvington neighbors begin cleanup from tornado damage

Posted at 2:04 PM, Apr 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-07 18:27:51-04

LANCASTER, Va. -- As the sun rose Friday, Irvington neighbors were allowed a closer look at the damage left by Thursday afternoon's tornado.

The National Weather Services confirmed an EF-1 tornado touched down in the area Thursday afternoon just after 12 p.m. Thursday, April 6. The maximum intensity was up to 90 miles per hour and the twister touched down for 2.7 miles and was about 200 yards wide, according to the NWS' preliminary statement.

"The tornado touched down near the boundary of Lancaster County and the Rappahannock River," NWS officials said. "The tornado then proceeded across West Irvington and Irvington where it reached its maximum intensity of up to 90 mph. Damage included loss of roofing material, gutters and/or awnings, and siding material as well as uprooted and snapped hardwood trees.

The tornado continued to the northeast with the last damage observed in a wooded area on the east side of the Hills Quarter Subdivision near King Carter Golf course.

There were no reported injuries or deaths, though uprooted trees, downed power lines and debris litter the Lancaster landscape.

"The roof is damaged, the shed is damaged," said Audrey Lowery, who has lived in Irvington all her life.

"It's a big mess, we have a lot to do," said Drew Ransone, the President of Chesapeake Tree Services LLC.

Ransone and other crews began cleanup work first thing Friday.

"I've got a lot of emergency jobs with my crane," said Ransone, "We'll be taking off a lot of trees that are on top of roofs and a lot of damages to houses, first."

Ransone expects his team to work through the weekend and even next week if needed.

VDOT Crews were also out making sure hazards were clear and getting debris out of any drainage.

Lowery was home at the time the tornado hit.

"I heard a lot of rain and the side of the house was pelted with hail," she said.

She said although there's extensive damage in some areas, she is staying positive and thankful no one was hurt in their community.

"Glass half empty, glass half full and mine is always half full,” Lowery said.

Owen Schultz saw the twister moving in and he ran into the house to grab his wife; they took cover in the ahllway.

"First thing I heard was the glass blow in the storm door there -- that went off like a shotgun," Schultz said.  "And then all of this terrible ripping noise. "

They fell down to the floor and when they finally stood back up, they had no roof.

"If it had lifted the house, we would've probably been in trouble," Schultz said.

"Tomorrow is another day and it will get better," he said.

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