August 31, 2005
Last night's storm caused minimal damage here in Charlottesville, but that was hardly the case in other parts of the state. One family in Crozet experienced the terrors of the storm firsthand.
"Large debris at a high elevation was coming at my house," explained Steve Thomas. "At that point, I immediately asked God to protect my home and protect my family."
During the tornado watches and warnings, Thomas was at home with his wife, 77-year-old father-in-law and 4-year-old grandson. That is what he said happened directly in front of his home last night during the tornado watches and warnings.
"When I first walked out of the house and observed the funnel [cloud] developing, that was when the fear set in that this [was] a serious, serious storm," said Thomas.
After protecting his family inside his home, he began to worry about his family outside his home. Steve's brother was visiting and left moments before the storm hit.
"I couldn't get a phone call out to find out how he was. And I couldn't get out of the driveway because of the debris--because of the trees that had fallen.
The Thomas residence wasn't the only home affected by the storm. Several residents in Virginia just north of Charlottesville were also hit, damaging their property and homes.
As Steve took pictures of the minor damages from yesterday's storm, he said he was thankful because after seeing what those directly affected by Katrina suffered, he knows it could have been worse.
"There again I'm blessed by having a house and home. To think of those folks that are in that area right now--our prayers need to go out for them," Thomas said.
There was no damage done to Thomas' home, but his property was filled with broken branches and uprooted trees. For many of the families in the Thomas' neighborhood, they were thankful that the storm wasn't as bad as it could have been.
Thomas says it will take months to clean up the mess left by Tuesday's storm, but he will just have to get a lot of friends to come over and help.
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