VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Recovery efforts march on following Sunday’s EF-3 tornado in the Great Neck community.
All week, neighbors have been helping neighbors and other volunteers have been pitching in to get victims back on their feet.
Ramona Drury said they were having a birthday party for her five-year-old grandson Sunday night when the tornado hit.
She said six adults and four kids huddled in a corner inside their Haversham Close home, away from the windows, to stay alive.
“Within maybe 30 seconds it was all over,” Drury said. “We just grabbed the kids, huddled over them and thank(ed) God we were all lucky no one was hurt.”
She said all they heard was glass shattering, and they felt their home moving.
“The windows shattered because trees from the golf course came right across our yard into all the windows, broke the windows, but luckily none of it touched us,” Drury said.
Her home overlooking Broad Bay Golf Course, one she has lived in for more than 30 years, is one of several that sustained major damage. Both homes directly beside her shifted off their foundations and have been deemed unlivable.
She is staying with family right now, but said she doesn’t know if they’ll be able to go back.
“The whole house lifted and then was put right back down,” said Drury. “It didn’t shift, it was just straight up and straight down.”
She says her floors are bowing and the house just feels uneven.
“I personally would feel safer demolishing it and starting from scratch because who knows what other damage there is that they won’t find until later on,” said Drury.
Down the street, another longtime Haversham Close homeowner, Dr. Dan Briddell, said it’s hard to see his neighborhood like this.
“The ones where the roofs are completely blown off, it’s just devastating,” Briddell said. “There are a number of houses out in that direction that just were destroyed.”
Briddell’s home suffered some roof and window damage, but he said he’s thankful it wasn’t worse.
“It’ll all be restored in time,” Briddell said.
Volunteers with Wave Church spent the day handing out food to those working and helping pick up debris in people’s yards.
They said they just want to serve wherever they’re needed.
“This tornado hit really close to home,” said Wave Church Community Outreach Coordinator Mikayla Grace. “Our church is right down the street from this area and we just want people to know that we are here for them, we support them and that we want to help them out.”
Volunteers with Wave Church said they’ll be back in the area Friday.