VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Recovery efforts continue in the Great Neck community of Virginia Beach.

Homeowners are salvaging what they can as they access the damage to their homes by the EF-3 tornado that hit Sunday evening. Contractors are also hard at work removing those massive, toppled trees and other storm debris on Haversham Close.

The City of Virginia Beach state of emergency will continue until the end of May. Recovery efforts are expected to take months.

10 On Your Side’s KaMaria Braye spoke with Nancy Gonzalez about the moments she ran from an upstairs bedroom to hide in a downstairs bathroom.

“My husband and I embraced each other, we hugged each other,” Gonzalez said. “They would have found us dead, but hugging each other.”

City officials confirm nine homes were destroyed, 36 homes have major damage, 33 homes have minor damage and 28 homes are damaged.

“We could hear everything, ripping apart outside that door but the [bathroom] door did not move and I’m telling you that was God,” Gonzalez said with tears in her eyes. “I want people to know that there is a God that all of this is material. We are here for a reason. We are here for a reason and that is for us to believe that there is a God.”

At the time she was worried about her neighbors.

“We lost everything. We are alive and there is a reason beyond our understanding that we are here,” she said. “We are not the only ones, but our loving neighbors. I stood outside and I was sobbing because I thought our loving neighbors were gone because their house was in shambles.

“We thought that they were buried alive. It was total devastation, not only us, everybody. We work hard for everything we have and that we accomplished through our lifetime. This is everything we built, working hard, but it is material.”

No one was hurt, according to city leaders. Now city public works and contractors are working to clean up downed trees and debris.

“We are grateful because we are alive,” Gonzalez said. “We will rebuild this home. We were going to sell this home to a young couple. I would have been more devastated if the young couple would have been living here and they had lost everything.”

On the other side of the street, Eric Joffe is cleaning up the damage to his home.

“We’ve got a lot of damage but everything is repairable damage, whereas our neighbors, unfortunately … you can see the devastation,” Joffe said. “I just think how very lucky we were compared to our neighbors. There is about 120 feet between the front of our house and the front of theirs.”

Joffe placed donuts and coffee on his porch for all of the workers on the street.

“For us, it’s more the distress of seeing them [our neighbors] then the damage that we’ve got,” Joffe said.

The Virginia Beach Community Emergency Response Team (VBCERT) is gathering names for a list of residents affected by the storm to help the city put together a recovery newsletter.

“It’s devastating, and at times you feel like you want to cry,” said Juliette Rey, a VBCERT volunteer. “It’s just so bad, you’ve never seen anything like this before in your life. I’m just glad to be out here to help somebody. Someday I might need help.”

VBCERT is also sharing information on how to avoid scams.

“One of the residents that we were talking to when we were hanging out the information (said) they wish we were out here on Monday because they got scammed by a tree service,” said Elmer Smith Jr., a VBCERT volunteer.

Brandon Fitzpatrick with Poor Folks Tree Service tells 10 On Your Side residents should be aware of scams.

“There are people coming here soliciting work that are not licensed or insured like they are supposed to be,” Fitzpatrick said. “There are tree companies coming in and stealing jobs for what we’ve already got contracts for. They’ll just come in and start cutting trees and then expect to get paid.”