'It warmed my heart': Halifax County man thankful for help cleaning up after Friday storm

National Weather Service surveyed storm damage Monday

By Colter Anstaett - Reporter

HALIFAX COUNTY, Va. - A storage shed destroyed, an ATV damaged after being tossed around by 90-100 mph straight line winds Friday afternoon.

Property owner Ronnie Roller was inside his shop when the storm hit.

"I heard the noise. It sounded like 'woo woo woo,'" Roller recalled. "There was just rain and wind blowing. About that time, stuff started flying by the end of the shop."

On Monday, he had his grandsons helping him clean up the damage.

"What'd you do first thing?" Roller asked his grandson, who was standing by his side. "You bent nails didn't you? Drove nails down, then we picked up trash didn't we...[I] had a friend of mine send me a message. They said, 'I'm sorry about your bad luck.' I told him I had good luck because my home wasn't damaged and I didn't end up in the hospital or the funeral home."

Roller was thankful for all of the help received since the storm.

"Within 30 minutes, we had four guys with power saws down my driveway. It was unbelievable," Roller said, his emotions overwhelming him. "It warmed my heart just to see that happen. It touched me."

Prior to surveying Roller's property, National Weather Service meteorologist Phil Hysell surveyed some downed trees along a nearby road.

"What I'm looking at is the pattern of the damage to determine if it's convergent or divergent," Hysell said.

He says information about the storm could prove to be very useful.

"If you look at the number of strong tornadoes, that's been fairly consistent across the country over the past several decades whereas the number of individual tornadoes, no matter what their rating, has increased. That's something we'll certainly be looking at once we collect all this information," Hysell said.

Roller estimated the damage to his property to be $30,000.

He said he does plan to rebuild.

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