Neighborhood rallies to clean up after tornado

Many people saw power outages, downed trees and debris

SALEM, Va. – Debris and branches are littering one small Salem neighborhood.

10 News ran into Tom Willett, cleaning up a mess of branches.

“My tree flew into my neighbor’s yard, took out his power, and we’re cleaning that all up,” Willett said.

He said he and his wife never even heard the tree fall.

“The winds blowing like crazy and rain’s coming down, so I went outside to try and grab her plants. She grabs me by my t-shirt, pulls me back, and by the time I look back outside, all I see are my trees in my yard and in my neighbor’s yard,” Willett said.

Willett tells us the damage is overwhelming, but he’s grateful most everything is fixable.

“All things considered, blessed. We did not lose any siding, we did not lose any shingles,” Willett said.

He said cleanup would take even longer, but his neighborhood showed up in full force.

We spoke with the homeowners, who didn’t want to go on camera, but tell us their neighbors came out without being asked and didn’t ask for anything in return.

“Thank goodness all these neighbors who are here chopping up mostly my tree, and some of his tree,” Willett said.

“It could’ve been so much worse. It could’ve taken our whole house, roof off. You see the pictures from out west, it could’ve been exactly like that,” Willett said.

About the Author

Abbie Coleman officially joined the WSLS 10 News team in January 2023.

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