WCAV-WVAW-WAHU | Charlottesville, Virginia | Weather

UPDATE: EF-1 Tornado Confirmed in Louisa County

By: Frankie Jupiter Email
By: Frankie Jupiter Email

Click Here to watch Bill Bichell's home video of the tornado

October 14, 2011

After surveying the damage Friday morning, the National Weather Service has confirmed that an EF-1 tornado touched down in the Boswells Tavern area of Louisa County Thursday afternoon.

The twister, with winds 80-90 MPH, first touched down along James Madison Highway (Route 15) near the historic Sylvania Plantation around 3:40 p.m. It had an estimated path length of 0.6 miles and was around 100 yards wide.

The NWS reports the tornado continued to move across the plantation, which is part of the Green Springs National Historic Landmark District, first shearing off several hardwood trees before hitting the Sylvania Plantation home. It ripped off the roof of the 18th century home and destroyed both the front and back porches.

Bill Bichell was nearby and decided to play storm chaser, capturing the funnel cloud on video.

"At the time I was really fascinated. I saw something that I had never seen before and probably hope never to see again. I saw [the tornado] form and become bigger," he recalled.

Frank Layman and his wife, Betty, live on the property and manage the historic home for their son-in-law. "It was a shock," Layman told CBS19. "We had no idea it was a tornado until we pulled up in the driveway. It's an old house and I hate to lose history."

The EF-1 uprooted several trees on the property and impacted the pool on the far side of the house, knocking down a fence and wildly tossing pool furniture in all directions.

The tornado then continued away from the pool, reaching a row of trees about one tenth of a mile from the house before lifting off the ground.

The Laymans were met on the property by emergency rescue personnel, the fire department and sheriff's department. While the historic home was damaged, their own home, located about two acres away, remained untouched.

Despite the extensive damage, Layman has been able to keep things in perspective.

"Nobody got hurt. You can't replace people but you can replace houses," he said.

Area law enforcement officers say they had not received any other reports of damage in the area.


The comments sections of Newsplex.com are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from our viewers, but we only ask that you use your best judgment. E-mail is required, but will not be displayed with comment.

  • Comments cannot be profane or vulgar. We will not post comments that use profanity or cross the lines of good taste.
  • We will not post comments that use hate speech. Slurs, stereotypes and violent talk aren’t welcome on our website.
  • Comments should not attack other readers or people featured in our stories personally. Any accusations should be backed up with facts.
  • Any comment we post will be posted in its entirety. We do not edit any comment that we post.
     
  • Comments should contribute to the discussion. We will not post comments that don't advance the discussion. Flaming and/or trolling will not be tolerated.
     
  • Comments should not attack other posters. Let's keep the focus on the content of the story.

    As a host Newsplex.com welcomes a wide spectrum of opinions. However this is a site that we host. We have a responsibility to all our readers to try to keep our comment section fair and decent. For that reason The Newsplex reserves the right to not post or to remove any comment.

    If you have any ideas to improve the conversation or this section let us know. Send an e-mail to webmaster@newsplex.com.

 

powered by Disqus
The Charlottesville Newsplex 999 2nd Street S.E. Charlottesville, VA 22902 434.242.1919 – Main 434.220.7522 - Newsroom
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 131886278