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First responders honored in Waverly weeks after devastating tornadoes hit

Posted at 11:19 AM, Mar 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-25 19:03:47-04

Waverly, Va. - Tornadoes devastated the town of Waverly in February and the rebuilding continues.

Friday afternoon, first responders were honored in Wakefield.Heavy machinery used as part of the rescue (Credit: Michael Campbell, : Sussex-Surry Dispatch newspaper)

Community leaders told NewsChannel 3 they are looking at ways that they can improve their current emergency management plan.

40 year-old Larry Turner was killed in a tornado in Waverly, along with 2-year-old Ian Lewis and 25-year-old Devine Stringfield.

Read more: Five dead, several injured after severe storms pummel portions of Virginia and NC

Mame Turner, Larry’s grandmother said she helped raise Larry along with her 26 other kids.  She said, “Larry was sweet yes, he was.  Everybody's taking it real hard about Larry."

The Turner family was shocked by what the devastation the tornado caused.

Dante Turner, Larry’s son said, “I didn't know a tornado could do stuff like that."

19-year-old Dante Turner said some of the family is handling their loss better than others.

Meanwhile, the community is still trying to put itself back together after 56 buildings were either destroyed or damaged. The Sussex County Public Safety Coordinator estimated the cost at $2.6 million dollars.

Related: Volunteers rally around town hit by tornado

Community leader Eddie Vick said they are now evaluating their emergency management plan and looking at ways that they can improve warning systems.

Despite The devastation, Vick said there was an element of beauty that came through this tragedy.

“One thing I've learned from this event is that how strong the strong the human spirit is of overcoming adversity and how they pulled together I never seen anything quite like that,” said Vick.

Related: 

Willoughby Spit residents taking action to help tornado victims

Crews work to remove trees toppled by severe weather in Newport News

Bibles survive tornado that destroyed 145-year-old Tappahannock church