Halifax woman loses home and family in deadly tornado

Connie Lucas says insurance will repair her damaged home, but the loss of her niece will take time to heal from

April 29, 2011|Tim Saunders | Reporter/Lynchburg Bureau Chief
Photo Submitted by Howard Family

HALIFAX COUNTY, Va. — Of the many families affected by Wednesday night's tornado in Halifax County, one was hit especially hard.

News 7 first spoke with Connie Lucas right after the storm.  Friday, she gave us a tour of her damaged home and shared a little bit about the family member she lost when the deadly winds came through.

"I was laying back here.  This is my hideaway," said Lucas as she showed News 7's Tim Saunders the bed she was sleeping in when the tornado ripped in to her Liberty Road home.

"Looking at this house, I'm thankful to even be here," said Lucas.

A tree is stuck in the roof.  One whole side of the house is missing.  Lucas believes her location when the storm hit may have saved her life.

"If I was in my bedroom, I probably would have been cut by glass when one of my windows blew out," said Lucas.


As friends move furniture out of what's left of her home, Lucas is relying on family to get her through.  Many have traveled from Washington D.C. to help.

"Thank God Aunt Connie's still here with us," said Lucas' niece, Harriet Howard.  "These are material things that she lost, but I just thank God for her."

Lucas lived just a few houses down from another niece, Shirleen Howard.  A pile of twisted metal and debris is all that remains of Howard's house.  She was the one person killed in Wednesday's storm.

"It's hard, but we're all going to stick together and deal with it," said Lucas, who adds that she's looking back fondly on times she spent with her niece and recalling what a helpful person she was.

"She always wanted to do something for others," said Lucas.  "She just came Tuesday and told me my van needed to be cleaned out and she wanted to clean it out, so she cleaned it out."

Despite the destruction and the loss of someone she loved, Lucas' spirits are still high - lifted by family and faith.

"This is God's work," said Harriet Howard.  "We have no control over God's doing.  God doesn't make any mistakes."

Lucas hopes her recovery will be made a little easier by the fact that her home was fully insured.

wdbj7 Articles