BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A powerful tornado leaves a New Jersey couple dead and their children injured after making landfall Thursday on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.
The clean up is just beginning as family members of those killed shared their grief.
Meghan McCorkell has the impact of the violent storm.
The National Weather Service has confirmed an EF-1 tornado touched down on Virginia’s Eastern Shore Thursday morning, slamming right into a crowded campground.
The storm brought 110 mile per hour winds that knocked down dozens of trees at the Cherrystone Family Camping and RV resort in Cheriton, Virginia — not too far from Ocean City.
“Look at what’s left of that camper. That pile of rubble,” said one camper.
One of those trees landed on the tent of 38-year-old Lord Balatbat and his wife Lolibeth Ortega, killing both. Their children — ages 14, 12, and 7 — were among dozens injured.
Family and friends of the Jersey City couple are devastated by the loss.
“They were great parents. They bent over backwards just to spend time with their kids,” said Kharl Ibasco, a family friend.
On Friday, Virginia Governor Terry Mcauliffe toured the devastation. He says with more that 1,300 people on the campground, he’s thankful more weren’t killed.
“In the morning, luckily I think most people were up. But had they been asleep in their tents and in their campers, I think what occurred here yesterday would have been much worse,” said Mcauliffe.
Campers say with the storm came with little warning.
“We looked over, and about a quarter mile down, we seen just wind coming. It looked like a wall of just everything,” said one camper.
As clean up begins at the campground, prayers go out for a family ripped apart.
Family members say the couple killed in the tornado had been coming to that campground for years.
Hundreds of acres of nearby farmland was also damaged in the tornado.
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