LAVISTA, W.Va. — The National Weather Service in Charleston confirmed Thursday that it was a tornado that tore through the Fayette County community of Lavista late Tuesday afternoon.

An NWS storm team said the damage was the result of an EF2 tornado with winds of up to 130 miles an hour.

Nuttall Volunteer Fire Department Deputy Chief Rick Lewis told MetroNews further damage assessment following the tornado has revealed more than 20 homes were damaged or destroyed.

The tornado, which hit at about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, ripped up trees, whipped around power lines, broke windows and caved in roofs, in the small community located on U.S. Route 60 a few miles east of U.S. Route 19.

Lewis said right now crews are just focusing on assessments for that specific area, but he said more and more damage numbers to homes extending out from that area are also expected to be reported as they survey the entirety of the storm’s path.

“That doesn’t count any of the homes in the surrounding areas around maybe the Lansing-Edmond area where before the tornado hit, which still had high winds and hail and stuff like that, so yeah, we expect the number to still climb,” Lewis said.

Lifelong Lavista resident Lisa Carte said that she had no doubt that a tornado was responsible for that kind of destruction that now litters the area.

“It was just crazy for a while, and today when you go through the neighborhood and look, you think how did we survive this, how did we survive this,” said Carte. “It’s just unreal, just unreal.”

Another resident, Roy Milam, a lifelong Fayette County native who had been living in the Lavista area for over 20 years said the same– it had all of the makings of a tornado.

“Just total destruction through here, roofs are gone, fences are gone, trees are gone, it’s just terrible,” Milam said.

Lewis said the storm was also very scattered when it hit, characteristic of a tornado, which he said tends to be more spotty than a hurricane or a derecho.

“It’s amazing how these tornados work,” he said. “There was a house that was just completely destroyed, and 20 yards from it there was a camper sitting there, didn’t even touch it.”

However, Lewis said while many have been comparing Tuesdays’ storm to the derecho that hit back in the summer of 2012, he said the derecho was more widespread.

He did say, though, there are at least some similarities.

“There’s some extended damage, and you know, there is a little bit of comparison, but honestly the derecho might have been a little more devastating,” he said.

Lewis said along with the homes in the Lavista area, one longtime business there, Bandy’s Sunoco was also badly hit.

“They lost their office building and their gas pumps, and actually, the Asplundh company where they park their trucks, they were actually all there at that time, and they had some damage, as well,” Lewis said.

Lewis said the focus now lies in the clean-up process and making the repairs.

He said there were at least 75 people that he knows of who cleaned up two homes Wednesday in the span of four hours, and it has been all hands on deck.

“Neighbors helping neighbors in that area there yesterday, there was kind of a friends and family call to help out, because everybody was trying to help the ones whose houses were destroyed,” he said.

In addition, he said churches and community entities have been making food and supply donations to help with the effort.

Lewis said Appalachian Power among other utility crews have been working tirelessly in the area to get the power restored, and as of now, the main transmission line is back up and operational.

He said the aim now is to have the state department and FEMA come in and assess the damages in hopes for people to receive assistance. Lewis said at least 35 homes need to be deemed as completely destroyed– not just damaged– to acquire an official disaster declaration.