Church camp takes brunt of tornado damage in Montgomery County

By  | 

MONTGOMERY CO., Va. (WDBJ7) A church camp in Montgomery County suffered some of the most widespread impacts from the tornado that touched down on Monday.

Despite the damage church goers are counting their blessings today.

Camp season is over at Blue Ridge Christian Camp, thankfully no one was there. Monday's tornado toppled dozens of trees and left a big mess.

"You can take things like this and look at it as a blessing because it's an opportunity for us to fellowship and come together, serve," said David Breeden, the camp director.

It's a painful sight to see: trees scattered throughout the camp property, laying on a shed, blocking a bridge, and littering a basketball court.

"It's really hard to believe that a tornado went through McCoy and kind of seemed to be centered around the camp," Breeden said.

A once thick wooded area is now partially clear. Uprooted trees could take days to clean up.The only building damaged was a small shed, no other buildings were hit. Already people are wanting to help clean up.

"We're going to get a better grasp on the situation at first and then offer people opportunities to to come and serve any way that they can," Breeden said.

A map from The National Weather Service shows the tornado's path, which ended near McCoy. It started near the Belspring community in Pulaski County, a county that's no stranger to tornadoes. One hit the Draper area six years ago. Since then the county has strengthened its resources.

"Our volunteers are professionals and well suited to respond very quickly, and effectively prioritize and triage what resources we have to dedicate them to the areas of greatest need," said Jonathon Sweet, the Pulaski County Administrator.

Clean up continued Wednesday including here on Claytor Lake, where the Friends of Claytor Lake crews spent the day removing debris from the tornado.

Some aid is being offered to homeowners in Pulaski County that saw the most damage from the tornado.

The county administrator says debris clearing, Red Cross shelter assistance, and building inspections are available.