Ware Neck residents hit hard during tornado

by Sherry Hamilton - Posted on Apr 17, 2011 - 04:22 PM

Photo: Joe and Amanda Preli of Potters Lane, came home after the storm to find that their garage was destroyed and their dog Simba had ridden out the storm in his bed under the steps in the garage.

Joe and Amanda Preli of Potters Lane, came home after the storm to find that their garage was destroyed and their dog Simba had ridden out the storm in his bed under the steps in the garage.

Photo:
In Ware Neck on Sunday morning, the buzz of chain saws filled the Glen Roy Estates neighborhood as residents cleared away downed trees with the help of neighbors and friends. While some homes sat unharmed on manicured lawns, others not far away had siding and shingles blown away or trees on top of them.

VDOT trucks loaded debris and carried it away, Gloucester County codes compliance inspected the damage, and Gloucester County sheriff’s deputies and Virginia state troopers patrolled the area to keep out sightseers, make sure people were okay, and deter possible looters. A sheriff's deputy also escorted Virginia Delegate Harvey Morgan as he surveyed the damage.

Keith Cerny of Professional Tree Care Service and Kenny Horsley of Ken’s Quality Lawn Care and Landscaping volunteered their crews to help folks clear their roads and driveways so contractors could begin securing homes.

Potters Lane resident John Marino was home when the tornado came through. He said his pet cockatiels felt the change in air pressure and grew quiet as the wind picked up and a loud roar like a train began. He said he saw the funnel cloud coming and ran to close the sliding glass doors on the back of his house, then watched as the funnel came down in his back yard and "the trees started going crazy."

Joe and Amanda Preli, who live down the road, were away during the storm. On Sunday morning, they stood in the front yard of the house her father built for them year before last because the garage was so damaged they couldn’t be sure about the stability of the structure. They said their black lab, Simba, rode out the storm in his bed under the steps in the garage.

Over on Wellford Lane, Gloucester School Board member Jay McGlohn’s roof and siding were damaged, windows were blown out, and his back deck was in a ravine across the road. He and his wife, Sharon, were away at a wedding during the storm. Julianne McGlohn, Jay’s sister, said that windows broke on the front and back of the house and wind swept through the kitchen and dining room, opening cabinets, but the china was untouched.

Tim Hale and his son, Conor, said they stood on their back deck during the storm and filmed a white cloud as it approached, circling counter-clockwise. Hale said they filmed as long as they could, then sought refuge in the bathroom with the rest of the family.

Jack and Helen Clark stood in the waterfront living room and watched debris blow by. They never saw a funnel cloud but heard a whistling sound, then the wind blew the french doors open. As Helen tried to close them, she felt a heavy sucking sensation, and the two lay down on the floor to wait out the storm.

"It was a thousand times worse than the hurricane when we had three feet of water in the house," said Helen. "This was just incredible."