Suffolk residents describe close calls during storm

SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Hours after the deadly tornado struck the Eastern Shore Thursday, a second round of storms swept through other parts of Hampton Roads. The weather left behind significant damage in Suffolk.

On Pitchkettle Circle Drive, most homes are surrounded by trees. And when a storm like Thursday’s comes through, that could mean trouble.

“It sounded like a double barrel shotgun, 12 gauge going off both barrels going off at the same time,” said Ivan Carr, who lives in the top floor of the home damaged by an 85 foot tall tree.

“One-third of the tree came right through there,” Carr said. “This chair here was mine, it set right here, and when you stretch it out it would be close to where them holes are. Can you imagine where I would have been last night at 8 o’clock … right here!”

He sees it all as a close call. The tree struck just a half an hour before Ivan usually sits in his living room.

“Took a crane to lift it out of the house. Punched two holes in the floor, and the rest was protruding in the kitchen,” he said.

The signs of damage are clear in Ivan’s home, and because of the damage, rain water poured in. But rain affected many in Suffolk Thursday.

“It was real deep, it was like a river,” said Gail Brown. She lives near the intersection of Spruce Street and Mill Street, which is about 15 minutes from Ivan’s home.

“It was a downpour from a storm yesterday, and the water built up to the top of that fence right there. The water was up to the back of the bumper of my car,” she said.

Brown said someone got stuck in the water nearby and had to call for help. Suffolk police rescued a family of four.

“I can imagine being in that water would be scary,” she said.

So whether it was a family being rescued from flood waters in their car or a man escaping death by minutes, Carr said, “it makes you realize how short life can be.”

Thankfully, Suffolk police say no one was injured.

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