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Tornado leaves a destructive path in wake of storm

Posted on Thursday, February 25, 2016 at 11:32 am

12122709_711824405621561_1592754591297049587_n-2 copyNomini Church in Mt. Holly suffered major damage from a tornado that touched down Wednesday, February 24,  during the storm that passed through Virginia.

Sheriff C.O. Balderson of the Westmoreland County Sheriff’s office said there have been four confirmed injuries in the county, however no one has sustained anything life threatening.

Balderson said he has not received an official amount on property damage throughout the county.

Jeff Beasley, from Westmoreland County’s emergency services, said at least four residents have suffered substantial damage from the storm, and Dominion Power has reported at least 250 locations in Westmoreland County are without power.

“Most of the cause for power loss is from infrastructure damage,” Beasley said.  “It will be Dominion’s priority to go out and fix any downed power lines and reset any poles that received damage.”

Beasley also said the zoning office will be compiling info to determine an approximate amount on property damage across the county.

Reverend R. Ellen White, rector for Cople Episcopal Parish had this to say about the damage sustained in Mt. Holly:

With sorrow and deep regret I must inform you that a tornado touched down in Mt. Holly, and Nomini Church, along with neighboring property, was severely damaged. I received the call about 9:05pm from Todd Padgett who heard about Nomini through the Cople Fire Dept., who were on the scene.

12734163_711824365621565_6415267701048684684_n copyThe wind was so powerful that it blew out the front stain glass window and lifted the roof off the walls and sat it back down. The reality is this: Nomini is unsafe and we are not allowed to enter back into the building. In effect, the building is now condemned status, and no one is to go inside the structure. The firemen who were on the scene did not want to be inside for fear of the roof collapsing. At this point, I nor the Vestry can answer the questions of “what next?” regarding the Nomini structure. We will keep you informed as we acquire information.

We are so thankful for the assistance of Cople Fire Dept. and for their allowing us to remove linens, books, chancel hangings,  furnishings, including the altar table, chancel chairs, lectern, kneeler, and baptismal font – about everything we could quickly carry out of the building. I was instructed to only contact a handful of persons to be present to help and so I want to thank the following members of the parish: Todd and Wendy Padgett, John Harrington (and two helpers he brought with him), Lynn McFadden, Meredith Kesling, Debbie Stafford, Ross Kunkel, and Sharon Kunkel Beninghove. We offered prayers inside and outside the church building before we left, expressing  our thanks for our faith community, the beloved house of worship where generations have gathered, and for the well-being of our neighbors and friends who have been in harm’s way tonight.

12742086_711824435621558_7983561028694866203_nI ask you prayers for our parish as you contemplate this information and for the Vestry and Wardens in the days ahead.

Balderson said damage from the storm stretches across the county, from Nomini Creek Bridge, down Route 202 and through Monokin Road to name a few locations.

Stay with Westmoreland News for continued updates on storm damage in Westmoreland County.

Photos by Tiffany C.