LYNCHBURG, Va - A Lynchburg family said the car parked in front of their mobile home saved them Sunday night when an EF-2 tornado ripped through the Brentwood Mobile Home Park just outside of Lynchburg.
Diane Brown, Carols Guvera, and his daughter where inside their trailer when the tornado blew through without warning. The twister lifted a trailer across the street off the ground and tossed it on top of Carlos’ vehicle.
"We were saved because his car was in the way. They were saved because they weren’t there actually,” Brown said.
“I hugged my daughter, and said it’s going to be okay. It’s going to be okay. But she was still crying,” Guvera said.
The tears have subsided but the clean up from the Lynchburg tornado is just beginning. At a press conference Tuesday morning, Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) officials said the tornado damaged or destroyed more than 100 structures near Lynchburg and Amherst County. VDEM officials estimated the cost the damage was more than $7 million.
In the Brentwood Mobile Home Park, Guvera and Brown said many of their neighbors have already moved out. Since they rented space, many do not have insurance and more than a dozen trailers in the facility were condemned due to damage.
"Thankfully they have people to help clean up, but they’re lost. It’s gone, it’s terrible,” Brown said.
However, a glimmer of hope of residents in Brentwood Tuesday came in the form of two local churches. Thomas Road Baptist Church sent crews with chainsaws and tools to help clean up the debris from downed trees and stripped siding. A group from Blue Ridge Community Church brought residents Chick-Fil-A sandwiches and other lunch items.
Brown said these kinds acts, which are playing out up and down the path of the tornado, are a glimmer of hope for people who have seen nothing but destruction since Sunday.
"We can’t thank them enough. I mean I can’t imagine putting their lives on hold and coming out to help us. They really love us,” Brown said.