Latest News

Justice gets first-hand look at Fayette tornado damage

By Steve Keenan, The Register-Herald

FAYETTE COUNTY, W.Va. — “Just send help, county.”

Nuttall Volunteer Fire Department Chief Tommy Coleman recalls uttering those words to emergency dispatchers on Tuesday afternoon, April 2, after vicious winds ripped through the Hico, Lookout and Lavista areas of Fayette County.

The fast-moving storm was eventually ruled an EF2 tornado with peak winds of 130 miles per hour by the National Weather Service. The EF2 classification features winds ranging from 111 to 135 miles per hour.

The path of destruction included numerous homes and businesses, including Coleman’s home, which absorbed heavy damage and has since been demolished. According to Nuttall Fire Department Deputy Chief Rick Lewis, the count through Monday, April 8, includes over 30 houses damaged, with nine displacements, including seven structures that are “probably completely destroyed.”

“We can’t thank everybody enough for the help and support (in recent days),” Lewis said as he and Coleman were among those who visited with Gov. Jim Justice on Monday at the fire department. After taking part in the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources’ West Virginia Gold Rush at Babcock State Park Monday, Justice and other officials got a first-hand look at some of the storm damage.

On Monday, Justice greeted some of those directly affected by the tornado and some of the emergency responders — several of whom fell into both categories. He expressed empathy for what families in the area have gone through in recent days. Of Coleman, he said, “This man’s a hero.”

The governor said the state is attempting to combine recent flooding, tornadoes and other weather-related incidents under “one umbrella” to see if that would lead to a FEMA disaster declaration. “It’s really hard to do, because this is not widespread enough to command FEMA,” he said.

Read more:

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

And get our latest content in your inbox

Invalid email address