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Northern Neck community picks up pieces left by tornado

Corbin House Leveled Northumberland Tornado JR DUNAWAY.png
Posted at 12:54 PM, May 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-04 16:09:26-04

NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY, Va. -- A severe storm caught a Northern Neck community by surprise Monday afternoon as a tornado tore through parts of Northumberland County without any weather service warnings.

“It was the scariest thing in the world to me," Henry Horn said. Horn recalled the scary moments from Monday afternoon.

He witnessed the funnel cloud rip through fields and into the path of homes, just yards from his front door.

“If it wouldn’t have turned, I wouldn’t have no house here today," Horn said. “Couldn’t sleep last night, didn’t sleep last night because of this. This is the first time I’ve seen something like this."

The storm came through without any warning from weather service officials, as it cut a path about a mile long and 125 feet wide, twisting trees and knocking power out to about 650 people.

"They're almost like distribution lines, so the 600 and some without power rely on these lines," said Kyle Allwine with the Northern Neck Electric Cooperative.

"When I say it was hot, it [power lines] was burning grass in certain spots," Horn added.

Neada Corbin, who had ventured out to Lowe’s to get a new stove Monday afternoon, found out on her way home that she had lost her house.

"Oh my God, not my house. That was my reaction," Corbin said. "But then I said that’s okay because God is going to give me something better.”

The Northumberland County woman was at the store while her house was lifted off its foundation and scattered in pieces across the property and into the woods.

Her mattress and part of her roof flew away, along with the rest of her belongings, landing about a half-mile from the home's foundation. Tuesday, she spent her morning salvaging what she could.

“I got to go through my stuff to find my stuff," Corbin said.

“That's what we can do. We can rebuild, we can rebuild anything in the world, but people. We cannot rebuild people," Horn said.

"The first call we got was from EMS workers across the field,” said Northumberland County Sheriff Johnny Beauchamp. “They saw it and like you said, we had no warning, so we started dispatching deputies' different areas, and they were surveying the damage and some even saw it so they were giving a direction."

National Weather Service members confirmed that the storm was a tornado on Tuesday. They say that at the strongest
point of the tornado's path, winds in the area were estimated to be around 120 MPH.

There were no deaths and no reported injuries.

You can help Corbin, who lost her home, by contributing to her GoFundMe.