National Weather Service surveys Franklin County tornado damage

Neighbors help clean up house destroyed by the storm.


FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. – The recovery process has begun following Friday's devastating tornado in Franklin County.

Larry Anderson's home near Sydnorsville was destroyed by the storm. Anderson's brick home was left as an unrecognizable pile of rubble.

"You don't ever think it's going to happen to you, but then when you come home and see your house completely destroyed, it sort of hits home," Anderson said.

The National Weather Service came out to Anderson's house on Saturday to survey just how powerful the tornado had been.

 "Wind tunnel testing can tell you how strong of a wind it took to bring down a wall or bring down shingles or hardwood or softwood trees," National Weather Service meterologist Phil Hysell said. "We look at those comparisons compared to what we're seeing on the ground."

In the end, Hysell and the National Weather Service determined the tornado that took out the Anderson's home was an EF-3 with winds more than 150 miles per hour.

"It's just a tremendous amount of force within the tornado that caused this," Hysell said. "If anyone was in the path of that debris, they would have been seriously injured or killed."

No one was hurt inside the Andersons' home; Larry was at work when the tornado hit and his family took shelter in the house's basement.

"I talked to my son and my wife, but I couldn't believe it was as bad as it was," Anderson said.

Friends and family helped the Andersons clean up the debris over the weekend, while the Andersons themselves say the tornado won't make them move.

"I want to rebuild again," Anderson said. "This is home."

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