Suffolk community suffers extensive damage after possible tornadoes

Posted at 2:35 PM, Aug 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-07 13:08:44-04

SUFFOLK, Va. - Isaias' wrath came in with force and fury in the Riverview community of Suffolk early Tuesday morning. Streets look more like war zones, stately homes now unrecognizable.

"So he looked out the window and he said he could see the wind coming at him, so he woke his fiancé up and they went in got in half bath," said Mary Odom, speaking on behalf of her daughter, Meredith, whose home was destroyed.

Meredith and her fiancé's home is not likely salvageable. Part of the entire front is missing, large pines split in two, the roof exposed and bricks toppled to the ground.

"The floor joist has fallen down on top of the sofa and there is just water everywhere," said Odom.

The couple is dealing with this new nightmare before the biggest day of their lives.

"She is supposed to get married next Saturday. The wedding has already been a delayed from the pandemic," said Odom.

Every street you turn on in this community you will see power lines snarled and strewn about. Cars smashed by toppling trees, entire sides of homes like Mary Davie's ripped away. She and her family are lucky to be alive today.

"I was running, so I did not see the tornado coming, but when the trees and the wind came through the back, it blew my husband across the room," said Davie.

The City of Suffolk says two tornadoes possibly touched down, damaging 110 residential and business structures in the city with damage ranging from minor to total losses.

Resident Jim Gordon described the sound that woke him from his sleep just before 4 a.m.

"It was like screaming. I know it sounds corny, but I thought if this keeps up, we won't survive," said Gordon. "Trees started falling and the house [was] shaking, and just like that, it was over."

Related: Photo gallery: Isaias' impact across Hampton Roads, NE North Carolina

Now, the cleanup begins - cranes, chainsaws and tree crews moving swiftly to clear the chaos.

"This was worse than Hurricane Isabel," said Gordon.

Neighbors banding together, proving community is key, amid an already stressful time.

"The Lord spared us for another day," said Davie. "We have so many friends and family that have reached out and are helping. We'll get through."

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