Franklin County focuses on cleanup after tornado rips through the area

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. – Severe weather showed up right on our doorstep Friday as intense thunderstorms and even a tornado swept across southwest Virginia.

Franklin County appears to have taken the brunt of the storm and while people are settling back in for the night, others are still cleaning up.

The tornado started on the west side of Rt. 220 and then tracked northeast and over to where the Franklin County ball fields are. 

The county has some cleaning up to do at the park. Out front, a light tower could be seen that was toppled over, taking the outfield fence with it. Some bleachers ended up across the street in a family's front yard.

10 News was the first to show you at noon how the winds actually wrapped and bent the metal bleachers around this tree.

A man who lives nearby and saw the strength of the storm play out in front of him didn't want to talk on camera, but his step-son filled us in on what happened. 

"He knew the winds were whipping up, and he saw the bleachers on the other side of the road were coming up, and that was his 'oh junk' moment," said Joel Peters, a Franklin County resident. "'I need to do something,' and he told me that he didn't even have time to get in the basement before the bleachers came up and wrapped around the tree. He said the wind came in along that tree line and just obliterated everything."

The winds also caused some minor damage to their home, but that's being taken care of.

At this point, they're more concerned with people almost causing wrecks slowing down to look at it.

Many people are giving thanks that just based on the debris tracks, this tornado avoided any really densely populated areas, but they also say they're committed to helping those that are affected.

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