LDS atmospheric scientist James Russell III (see accompanying report) knows well that extreme weather can happen suddenly and indiscriminately.
On April 28, Brother Russell's daughter and son-in-law, Amy and Scott Marlowe, were the victims of destructive weather when a tornado leveled their shopping center in Suffolk, Va. Several people who were at the shopping center were injured when the tornado barreled through the area, destroying neighboring homes and tossing about vehicles like toys.
"It's a miracle that no one was killed," said Sister Marlowe, a member of the Yorktown Ward, Newport News Virginia Stake. The Marlowes were not at their business when the tornado struck. They plan to rebuild.
Meanwhile, the house of one member family was severely damaged by the twister "and has or will be condemned," said Chesapeake Virginia Stake President Michael Dudley. Many homes within the stake boundaries were destroyed during the catastrophe. Tornadoes are a rarity in eastern Virginia.
No members or missionaries were injured. President Dudley said the tornado touched down about a mile from the Chesapeake Virginia Stake Center, but the building escaped harm.
President Dudley said local members are preparing to help however they can as soon as the area is deemed safe for volunteer relief work.