Yesterday an EF3 (possibly an EF4) tornado ripped through Suffolk, VA doing major damage. I have a lot of in-laws who live in that area and I was very concerned for their well being. All of them are fine and accounted for, thank god. It was very eerie seeing places I knew very well totally devastated. Hardest hit was the small community of Driver where I was married back in 1990. The church suffered minor damage, but several landmarks were wiped out completely.

I had a close call with a tornado back in 1993 when I used to drive a daily route between Suffolk and Richmond, VA. There is a very tall prominent bridge that crosses the James River that was struck by a tornado after it killed 3 people at a Walmart in Petersburg, VA. 6 tractor trailers were flipped on their side some 10 minutes after I crossed the bridge in a driving rainstorm. Had I been on the bridge when it hit I could have been flung over the side in my 24 ft Ryder truck. For years afterwards you could see the tree damage on either side of the river where the tornado cut through the trees. It really put things in perspective for me at the time.

http://weatherfirst.blogspot.com/2008/04/virginia-tornadoes.html

http://www.dailypress.com/news/local/southofjames/dp-local_tornadoes_0429apr29,0,5577833.story

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