Storm damages houses in Pittsylvania County

Volunteers help people clear debris Monday

By Tommy Lopez - Weekend Anchor / Reporter

PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. - Volunteers helped people clear away debris Monday in Pittsylvania County after strong storms came through the area Sunday night.

Officials said there were about 40 buildings damaged but no major injuries in the county.
The National Weather Service surveyed the damage Monday, but as of Monday afternoon hadn't ruled whether or not a tornado hit the area.

The storm tore through part of Rosewood Lane Sunday night, damaging two homes. Trees fell on the back of Helen Gatley’s house.

“I got to the basement door and about that time, I heard it hit the back of the house. I heard stuff falling off my walls,” Gatley said.

PHOTOS OF STORM DAMAGE ACROSS THE REGION

Firefighters helped her get out of her house later that night.

“It was scary, very dangerous,” she said.

The storm uprooted large trees, which fell across her front yard.

“I wouldn’t be here to talk about it if it had fallen on top of my house,” she said.

Suzy Egle and her 90-year-old father, Roy Coleman, said they heard a loud “bang” when the storm came through. Trees damaged their roof, blocking their front door and blocking their car in their driveway.

Volunteers from the group God’s Pit Crew helped cut trees and clear debris Monday at both houses.

“It’s terrible, especially these two folks here, and I know there are lots of others, but they’re elderly people who have no means to help themselves,” said Randy Johnson, the group’s director. “We're thankful we have folks who can come and could help them.”

The group has helped people all over North America and quickly responded to the need close to home Monday.

“It’s hard to see this come to your hometown,” Johnson said.

He said the volunteers would love donations. Money and supplies will help keep their efforts going. They’re considering also sending crews to Lynchburg to help people affected by the storm.

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