Virginia Beach puts price tag on tornado damage

Posted at 4:19 PM, Apr 04, 2017

UPDATE: City officials say 310 homes were impacted by the tornado with an estimated cost of $7 million, as of Wednesday morning.


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Damage in the Resort City ranges from fallen trees to fully condemned homes.

Neighbors are still cleaning up after a tornado tore through a portion of the city Friday evening, Derron Gallashaw is just one of many dealing with the aftermath that is both physical and emotional.

"To be in the house and have the house actually be shaking it just it was very traumatic," Gallashaw explains. "It was just one of those situations where I just couldn't wait for it to be over."

Gallashaw and his five family members were inside their Rock Creek home when the tornado ripped through his neighborhood.

"I soon as I walked out of my room, the glass and all the windows in the house just broke, doors slammed," Gallashaw described.

Fortunately, all survived without any injuries, but dealing with the aftermath is still painful.

"We still have a lot of things in the house we just have to find out where we are going to move to and that sort of thing," he said.

Gallashaw's home is just one of nearly a dozen condemned because of the extensive damage.

According to Virginia Beach Emergency Management, the damage price tag ranges from between $5 million and $5.5 million with nearly 300 homes damaged in total.

"It's very chaotic right now to make sure that we are getting and meeting the needs of the community that we can," explained Erin Sutton with Emergency Management.

Sutton says she has been sending out crews to assess the damage using a new app called Crisis Cleanup. The app updates damage statistics in real time, allowing the city to better understand neighbor's needs.

"It's been pretty busy just pointing people in the right direction we have volunteer groups that are out in the community so that is a lot of what we are doing right now," explained Sutton.

While families work to rebuild their homes, the city is asking for everyone to stay aware of what could be heading our way when severe weather is in the forecast.

"Tornadoes are unpredictable," explained Sutton. "We get an indication but we don't know where it's going to touchdown and so the better prepared and informed you are the better off you will be."