NORTHAMPTON COUNTY -- Dozens of people are back at Cherrystone Campground, returning to recover whatever they can after a tornado ripped through the park on Thursday morning.
It was around 8:30 a.m. when the storm flattened trees and flipped RVs. Two people from New Jersey were killed.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-VA) cancelled plans that would have kept him out of state and flew Friday to the Eastern Shore community.
"Yesterday, we had a terrible incident here," said Gov. McAuliffe after a brief look at damage at the campground.
After landing on the Eastern Shore, he met with many of the first responders who rushed to the campground on the Chesapeake Bay moments after the twister hit. He was briefed by Virginia Secretary of Public Safety Brian Moran and then went into the campground to see the devastation for himself.
Governor McAuliffe receives briefing from Secretary Moran on tornado damage in Eastern Shore pic.twitter.com/E4aAEq71cg
— Terry McAuliffe (@GovernorVA) July 25, 2014
"The good Lord was watching over us yesterday. When you see the devastation and know that so many people were awake by the time the tornado hit ... had they been asleep, with more people in tents and campers, I think that what happened here would have been much worse," he stated.
McAuliffe asked for prayers for the teenage son of the New Jersey couple killed when a tree fell on their tent.
"Lee is in very, very serious condition and he’s gone through his surgery. We need to pray very hard. He's in intensive care and is in a precarious position," he explained.
The governor said the couple's other children should be okay.
He was relieved the situation, as bad as it is, wasn't worse.
"This was a very freak incident. 100 MPH winds, only about eight minutes notice for those who heard the storm coming. Some campers are just gone, obliterated, people are picking up what items they can. It’s an incredible sight to see," he noted.
McAuliffe related stories from survivors about how much they love coming to the campground, how they'll be back, and how they were overwhelmed with the outpouring from the community -- hotels free of charge, food brought in and more.
"I can only stand here as governor with pride at the response. The community responded, this is the Virginia way."
The impact of the tornado was felt elsewhere in Northampton Co. Thousands of acres of crops - corn, soybean and cotton - were damaged or destroyed.
"It's a tremendous amount of economic loss for agriculture here. I've told the secretary of agriculture 'let's figure out quickly what we can to talk to the federal folks and get compensation for them."
McAuliffe said he's expecting a report in the next couple of days on what was done right and what could be done better next time.