Cleanup continues after tornado touches down near SML

Local News

After an EF-0 tornado touched down near Smith Mountain Lake early Friday morning, neighbors and contractors are continuing to clean up damage. 

Saturday was the second day of cleanup on Turning Tide Road, where the tornado left its mark.

“The sound…woke me because it just sounded like what everybody says – it sounded like a locomotive,” said Jim Weaver, who has lived there for 30 years. 

The tornado did not just tear through a tree in Jim Weaver’s backyard. It also took down a roof attached to his garage and tossed a kayak from the dock to the opposite end of the backyard near his house.

“I did not know how bad it was at the other people’s houses,” Weaver said. “I’ve experienced microbursts and wind damage, but this was obviously, it was something more than that.”

People we spoke with who are cleaning up estimate some of the trees toppled are as much as 150 years old.

“It’s been a busy couple days,” said Clint Pagans of Pagans Forestry Service.

Pagans said he expects his team will be cleaning up for clients on Turning Tide Road for the next week.

“It’s hard work,” Pagans said. “It takes a lot of equipment to get it done on time and make people happy.”

Neighbors we spoke with admit it will probably be several weeks until things are back to normal. For now, some people in the area said they are thinking of doing something about trees near their houses.

“We’ve got a tree right here about…150 feet up,” said Don Clifton, who lives nearby. “It just snapped it right in two. I might do a little tree trimming.”

“Last fall, I had taken down five trees that were poplar trees, which they snap and break easy,” Weaver said. “Had I not done that, they probably would have been on the house.”

No injuries have been reported, according to the National Weather Service.

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