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Possible tornado touches down in Callao, leaves behind miles of damage: ‘It’s just unbelievable’

By Maggi Marshall

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    CALLAO, Virginia (WTVR) — Neighbors in the town of Callao tell CBS 6 they are still trying to process the fact a possible tornado barreled through their area Wednesday afternoon.

J.R. Dunaway is one of roughly 2,500 people who live in the Northumberland County town.

Around 4:30 in the afternoon, Dunaway says he got the alert that the area was under a tornado warning.

“It was calm and then it started picking up there for a second and the trees just started falling like dominoes,” Dunaway said. “I ran inside to check on everyone and it got loud and dark and heavy rain.”

When the storm calmed he said he ran outside to check out what happened. He put up his drone and said he saw a clear path where he believed a possible tornado ripped through his community.

“I can’t believe the damage in this area. We’ve had tropical storms and occasionally a little bit of flooding but to see that kind of damage and unfortunately property damage. It’s just unbelievable,” he said.

He flew his drone over a two-mile radius to check on his neighbor’s homes. He saw items thrown across people’s yards, hundreds of downed trees, and power lines and homes where the roof was completely ripped off.

Dunaway said he felt horrible seeing homes halfway torn to pieces.

Officials blocked off a handful of damaged roads in the area. Crews could be seen working to clear the dozens of trees that covered the roads.

Many of the roads were so impassable they blocked drivers from getting back to their homes.

While neighbors and officials alike state it’s too early to tell the extent of damage in the town, they said they are determined to do what they can to help their neighbors.

“It’s just sad. You pray everyone is going to be okay,” Dunaway said. “It’s going to be a lot of people helping everyone.”

As of 10:22 p.m., Northern Neck Electric Cooperative says nearly all customers have had their power restored.

Officials have not given a clear timeline for how long it will take to reopen town roads.

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