EF2 tornado confirmed to hit Amherst County

Elon was hard hit by Sunday's storm

By Brittny McGraw - Anchor

AMHERST COUNTY, Va. - UPDATE

We now know that it was an EF2 tornado that caused damage in Amherst County, according to the National Weather Service.

It was on the ground for 25 minutes,  in Lynchburg and Campbell and Amherst counties.

It had a max path width of 600 yards and traveled 20.4 miles. It also had maximum wind speeds of 130 mph, putting it at the high-end of the EF2 scale.

The National Weather Service reports that this tornado injured an estimated 12 people. 

Following Monday evening's initial assessments, 102 structures and homes have now been reported as damaged. Twenty-one are severely damaged or counted as total losses. 

The structural dollar loss is estimated at $3,685,000. 

Monetary donations are only being accepted through Gleaning for the World. Donations of newly purchased iteams, packaged food, and bottled water will be accepted at Sam's Club in Lynchburg on Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Click here to learn about other ways to help. 


ORIGINAL STORY 

People in Amherst County continue to clean up after Sunday’s storms. The storms destroyed homes in the community of Elon and left at least seven people hurt.

Gary Roakes, public safety director for Amherst County, said people started calling 911 at about 7:30 p.m. Sunday to report a possible tornado.

“All responded to the area and started doing damage assessments as far as what we could see last night,” Roakes said.

The National Weather Service is still investigating if a tornado touched down in the Elon area.

Roakes said the people who were hurt suffered non-life threatening injuries.

Emergency and disaster response teams from across the region and state are in Amherst County to help with the recovery efforts, including teams that are assessing which homes can be saved.

“Appomattox County and Nelson County and Amherst County building officials are going through those areas house-by-house to see which ones are condemned, which ones are salvageable, and they’re working that area right now,” Roakes said.

Roakes asked that people who don’t live in the area refrain from driving through just to see what’s going on. He said that can hamper the clean-up efforts.

He also shared that people who’d like to help the victims can make donations to Gleaning for the World, which will be collecting donations this week.

The storm took out part of David Neighbors’ home and left him trapped inside.

“I was right inside the door right there and I just dropped back down behind the sofa and everything just started falling in on me,” Neighbors said.

He said the wind sucked everything in and sent glass flying everywhere. He escaped with a few cuts and bruises.

“I’m lucky. I’m just lucky,” Neighbors said.

Neighbors hopes that insurance will cover much of the repair costs.

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