First Estimate on Virginia Tornado Property Damage: $18 Million

April 30, 2008

Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine visited the city of Suffolk to comfort storm victims and to survey the damage caused by severe weather that hit central and southeastern Virginia. The governor walked through neighborhoods where homes were badly damaged and went door to door to talk with victims.

Tornadoes tore through several communities, hitting the city of Suffolk hardest and leaving nearly 150 homes uninhabitable there and more than 1,200 homes damaged. Search dogs and their handlers continue to push through stacks of debris for anyone who might be injured.

First damage reports indicate $18 million in property loss.

“I’ve talked with people who survived the storm, and I’ve seen the unbelievable destruction and also the heartwarming efforts of the community to pull together and help their neighbors,” said Gov. Kaine. “It truly is a miracle that there were no deaths. Now my plan is to bring in every state resource needed to help in recovery efforts.”

The governor spoke to members of the media at the Sentara Obici Hospital in Suffolk, where 70 people with injuries were treated and three were hospitalized. Other hospitals treating victims were Chesapeake General and Maryview. Most injuries are limited to broken bones, cuts and bruises.

Also affected by the storms were the counties of Brunswick, Halifax, Isle of Wight and James City and the city of Colonial Heights, where approximately 20 people were injured and about 30 homes were damaged.

Preliminary damage reports for the other affected localities are:

Colonial Heights: $2 million
Halifax County: $500,000
Isle of Wight County: $167,000
Brunswick County: $500,000
James City County: $250,000

Roads leading into the most damaged areas were closed by the Virginia State Police so that first responders could work more efficiently. State Police also deployed additional troopers to the Suffolk area. Debris continues to be removed from roads by work crews with the Virginia Department of Transportation.

A shelter at Kings Fork High School in Suffolk was opened by the local chapter of the American Red Cross. As many as 70 people have used the resources available there.

Staff with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management are coordinating response efforts from state agencies to the affected areas.

Source: Virginia Department of Emergency Management

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