Cleanup begins for Suffolk residents after Tropical Storm Isaias brings tornadoes


SUFFOLK, Va (WAVY) — We know at least two tornadoes touched down in Suffolk Tuesday morning following Tropical Storm Isaias’ run through our area. One tornado was in downtown and another damaged homes slightly west of downtown.

Several Suffolk residents in the Riverside neighborhood spent the day Wednesday cleaning up what was left after the storm.

Residents in the neighborhood have lived surrounded by trees, but in just a matter of seconds, those trees ended up in their homes. By Wednesday, many of those trees were at the curb.

“It’s the results of the tornado that went through,” said William Helms as he helped clean up his neighborhood.

The area was filled with the smell of freshly-cut wood.

It was not an easy cleanup.

“Well I go through a T-shirt about every two hours, if you want to know the truth,” Helms said.

But he said it’s necessary.

“I didn’t get to see the results of the damage until 6 a.m. that’s when I found out and said ‘Oh man,'” he said.

Helms helped out his neighbor Tommy, whose home was hit by the storm early Tuesday morning.

“We heard it right around 8 a.m. and it didn’t last long at all and I wasn’t concerned. I thought it was just going to pass over and we would be safe again, but after I got up I started looking out the windows and I saw that I was wrong,” Helms said.

His house was mostly unscathed 

Tommy’s house: not so much. There is a big gaping hole in his attic. The debris around the area is lined with insulation from the house.

Helms said there was no question on whether he would help his friend.

“Well he’s my golf buddy, he’s my neighbor, and when someone is hit with damage of this magnitude, you have to go help them because it’s just too big for one or two people,” he said.

There is still a long way to go this hurricane season. 10 On Your Side’s Tamara Scott asked him if he was nervous going forward.

“I hate to cut trees but if it falls up here and it doesn’t hit Tommy’s house, we can always get it cleaned up,” he said.

He still believes everyone will make it out safely, and they’ll be done with the cleanup before they know it.

“I just tell everybody to work together and we will get this thing straightened out. Things are going to be put up like they were and it’s going to take the grass a little longer, but we will get it done.”

While some residents are replacing their roof, others are also replacing their cars.

There were several insurance adjusters in the area. Residents say they are just ready to get everything together, get past this and get ready for whatever else comes in the future.

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