WCAV-WVAW-WAHU | Charlottesville, Virginia | Weather

Tornado Reported in Louisa County; Historic Home Damaged

By: Jessica Jaglois Email
By: Jessica Jaglois Email

October 13, 2011

The National Weather Service says a suspected tornado touched ground in Louisa County Thursday afternoon, near the epicenter of August's 5.8-magnitude earthquake.

Louisa County Fire Chief Scott Hiem confirmed the tornado spotting to CBS19, where a historic home was significantly damaged. "It was a well defined funnel cloud. It did touch down here, hit the fence, hit the house and then the pool house in the back."

The possible tornado ripped the tin roof off of the 18th Century plantation home. Debris was thrown as far as a football field away. Trees were also uprooted and a wooden fence of the property was shattered.

No one was in the home at the time and there were no injuries.

The historic home is located in the 5700 block of James Madison Highway (Route 15), just a few miles south of Gordonsville in Louisa County.

Frank and Betty Layman live on the property and manage the historic home for their son-in-law.

"It was a shock, you look at it and say 'oh my goodness,'" Layman told CBS19. "We had no idea it was a tornado until we pulled up in the driveway."

There, the Laymans were met with emergency rescue personnel, the fire department and sheriff's department. While the historic home was damaged, their own home, located about 2 acres away, remained untouched.

The Laymans showed CBS19 a picture of what the old plantation home used to look like. Their son-in-law was working to restore it, but now he says, he needs to focus on cleaning up.

Meteorologist Dan Proch in the weather service's Wakefield office said a weather service team could be in Louisa County as early as Friday to survey the damage and determine if the event was indeed a tornado.

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

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