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Wythe County family recovering after storm that destroyed home

Published: May. 22, 2022 at 6:05 PM EDT
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WYTHE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - “I’ve never seen anything like it and I hope I never do again,” said Martha Osborne.

It was a day they’ll never forget.

Martha Osborne, her husband Ernest and great-grandson are recovering after high winds and hail destroyed their home Saturday. The Osbornes have lived in Wythe County their whole lives and are doing okay, but are still thinking about the chilling experience.

“We had that camper, that’s my husbands pride and joy it was, but they said if it hadn’t have been there, it blew it off the blocks and almost up against the house, but if it hadn’t of been there, it would’ve took the whole thing and probably us with it, it was horrible.”

At this time, WDBJ7 doesn’t know exactly what caused the damage. But Chief Meteorologist Brent Watts shares what might have happened.

“Well, it’s not always a tornado. A lot of times you can get what are called straight line winds that come rushing down out of the storm itself and spread out, and sometimes these winds can be equally as strong as a tornado. 60, 70 even 80 miles per hour and can cause extensive damage,” said Watts.

The Osborne family has seen an outpouring of support since the tragedy.

“It’s the most wonderful thing in the world. This community is a really great place. Everybody just cares for you and just comes to check on you.”

The family is now just thankful, it wasn’t worse.

“We’re alive. We’ve lost all, that can be replaced or not, as long as we’re alive.”

A GoFundMe has been set-up for anyone who would like to help the family as they recover.

WDBJ7 is hoping to learn the exact cause of the damage from Wythe County Emergency Management and the National Weather Service Monday.

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