Evergreen EF-3 tornado survivor: “I could see the funnel coming”

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APPOMATTOX COUNTY, Va. – One person was killed and seven were injured when an EF-3 tornado with winds estimated between 136 and 165 mph barreled through Appamattox County on Wednesday around 3:30 p.m, according to WTVR.

Jimmy Womack, who has lived in Appomattox County for 66 years, said he was at home with his wife and dog when the storm hit.

“I’d been watching the weather, and they said it was a tornado headed toward the community of Evergreen,” he told WTVR.  “I went to my cellar and, by the time I got to my cellar in the basement, the windows were blowing out of my house.”

Womack said what happened next lasted for about 30 seconds and sounded “exactly like a freight train coming” as glass shattered and trees toppled above.

He said the damage is incredible, but that he and his family are very lucky.

In his 66 years in Evergreen, Womack said he has never witnessed anything like this before.

“It’s unbelievable. You can’t explain it. You have to see it to believe it,” he said. “Only on TV. [I] never want to see it again. It’s terrible.”

Virginia State Police said 78-year-old Edward K. Harris was killed when he was thrown from his mobile home in Evergreen, according to WTVR.

Officials said his wife was among the seven people injured.

Five of the victims were treated and released, but two remain hospitalized with serious injuries.

State police said at least 100 structures were damaged when the tornado sliced an 8 to 10 mile swath of destruction along Route 460 through Evergreen and Red House.

According to WTVR, neighbors spent Thursday gathering salvageable belongings from the 20 homes destroyed in the county.

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