Storm destroys gym, injures 7 in Fredericksburg

Storm destroys gym, injures 7 in Fredericksburg

Credit: Eric Kurzbard

Lightning bolt over the Chesapeake Bay taken July 8 from Hacks Neck on the Eastern Shore

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Associated Press | WVEC.com

Posted on July 9, 2012 at 7:47 AM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 12 at 9:26 PM

SPOTSYLVANIA (AP) -- A Spotsylvania County fire official says it's a miracle that no one was seriously injured when a storm destroyed a gymnasium and damaged several other buildings.  

Spotsylvania County Volunteer Fire Department assistant chief Mark Kuechler says at least 20 people were inside the Cheer Fusion gym when the storm struck Sunday. Seven girls suffered minor injuries.

When the storm blew out the windows, the teacher ordered everyone to the front end of the building. That's the only part that is still standing.

"I can't tell you what we're feeling. I drove up and said, 'It's got to be a dream. This just cannot be real.' We still just are in a state of shock," said owner Deborah Perkins.

As for the dance studio's roof, it flew a few hundred feet and landed on a house. Fortunately, no one was home at the time.

Kuechler tells media outlets that the storm tore the building's roof off and collapsed the cinder block walls. Strong wind and falling trees damaged several other homes and buildings.

A National Weather Service team planned to assess the damage Monday to determine the type of storm that hit.

Governor Bob McDonnell said Sunday night, “Virginia was once again hit by severe weather today, knocking out power for many and causing more damage.”

"It has been a tough few weeks for many Virginians," he added.

As of Sunday night, about 50,000 people across the Commonwealth were without power, most of those were victims of June 29-30 storms.

AP-WF-07-09-12 1100GMT

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