A powerful storm rocked the United States’ East Coast and South on Feb. 24, killing seven people, four of whom were in Virginia, USA Today reported. One of the victims in Virginia was a 2-year-old boy.
The small town of Evergreen, which is home to 300 residents, was hit particularly hard when a tornado touched down in the area. One person died and seven were injured, but amid the rubble as the winds died down, three wooden crosses still stood, WDBJ posted on its Facebook page.
The image of the crosses has gone viral, garnering nearly 13,000 reactions and 6,500 shares. Many of the comments attributed the survival of the crosses to God, sparking arguments over religion and divine intervention, but several people took it as a symbol of perseverance.
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The crosses weren’t the only religious symbols to survive the storm. A 145-year-old church in Tappahannock, Virginia, was destroyed in the storm, but the Bibles and songbooks managed to survive, WTVR reported. "It looks like a war zone,” said church member Joe Pollard. "It's a miracle no one was killed.” About two dozen of the books survived.
Like Evergreen, Tappahannock, Virginia, was devastated by the storm. At least 15 buildings were destroyed and another 30 were damaged. A tree severely damaged the home of Neil Harvey. "We were sitting in the middle of the home when it came through,” he explained. "It demolished everything."
Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia declared a state of emergency and officials believe the storm created a 5-mile-wide path of rubble, The Washington Post reported. “We have done a little bit of the survey of the damage, and it was definitely a tornado,” said meteorologist Bill Sammler of the Weather Service.