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UPDATE: Two Halifax County storm victims identified

A fast-moving severe thunderstorm accompanied by strong winds, fierce lightning and quarter-sized hail raced through Halifax County Tuesday around 4 p.m. leaving in its wake a number of downed trees and spotty power outages.

Two county residents, 29-year-old Shelly Lynn Beadles of Nathalie and 26-year-old Jennifer Ann Duffey of Clover, were indirectly struck by lightning at a house on Lakeside Drive in the Town of Halifax around 4:20 p.m., according to Halifax Police Officer W. R. Wilmoth.

Both victims, who were not seriously injured, were transported to Halifax Regional Hospital Emergency Room for medical evaluation, authorities said.

Beadles was on the porch when she saw what she described as “a big ball of fire” hit the ground.

Her cousin, Duffey, who was sitting in a car waiting for the storm to pass, said she got scared and left the car running to her aunt’s porch to join Beadles, Wilmoth said.

The pair watched as lightning struck something not too far away and traveled through the ground indirectly impacting the two women.

Beadles told Wilmoth she felt an electric shock go into her left foot and up her leg before entering her chest. She complained of moderate to heavy chest pains and numbness in her left leg, toe and right hand and arm, the officer said.

She was treated and released Tuesday evening.

Duffey said both her feet felt like they were on fire, and she complained of numbness and a tingling sensation through her entire body.

Duffey also told Officer Wilmoth she had a severe headache and chest pains.

As of press time, she had not been released from the hospital, he said.

Roughly seven roads throughout the county were impacted by fallen trees, according to Halifax Emergency Services Coordinator Kirby Saunders.

 At press time Tuesday evening Virginia Department of Transportation crews were working to clear the roads.

Downed trees impacted locations on Grubby Road, Birch-Elmo Road, Berry Hill Road and Chatham Road.

Spotty power outages also were reported in South Boston and Halifax, Saunders said. Of primary concern was the main traffic light at the intersection of Halifax Road and Old Halifax Road in Centerville. The traffic lights temporarily were knocked out, and transportation officials installed temporary traffic signage until repairs were made later that evening.

While the area was pelted by quarter-sized hail, heavy winds and rain, there were no reports of significant damage to structures.

Crews worked into the evening repairing downed power lines, including one on Maple Avenue off Mountain Road in Halifax, Wilmoth said.