Flood victims post signs to keep others from taking damaged items

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Some residents in a Virginia Beach neighborhood still reeling from devastating flood damage say they are trying to keep people from taking the things they have left.

Several homeowners in the Windsor Woods community have posted signs in front of their belongings on their lawns, including, “Do not take private property” and “Do not take any items.”

Photos: Windsor Woods clean up efforts

Jason Meier was on deployment in Bahrain when he found out he had 15 inches of water in his home.

“Every room’s had walls ripped out of it. There’s water damage throughout the house,” he said.

He hurried home to help with the mess. Meier, his wife, and two children are now living in a mobile home in front of their house.

“My command is still deployed, so I have to leave again soon, so I’m trying to get everything in order before so my family’s safe so I can go back,” Meier said.

Windsor Woods area working to clean up after flooding

In the meantime, he has marked his yard with a sign, trying to ward off potential thieves.

“We’ve had people come through and say they’re trying to pick up scrap metal and stuff like that and we’re trying to save our stuff for the insurance company to see…We’ve had altercations with people saying that they can take it if it’s on the curb. We’ve had to call the cops a couple times now,” he said.

He even added a sign at the end of the street that reads, “Keep out. Residents and contractors only!”

“If you don’t live on this street, you’re not a contractor working on someone’s house, just don’t come down here. There’s trucks all over the place. We’re trying to get the trash people to come through and pick up stuff,” he said.

Windsor Woods residents vent flooding frustrations at meeting

Meier said he will be willing to part with the damaged items eventually, but is trying to hang on to them for insurance purposes, for now.

“Once my insurance company comes, I’d probably be glad to give them some of this stuff because it’s damaged, but not right now,” he said.

Irma Costa hoped a sign placed in front of her mother’s home would keep people from taking her belongings.

“If we didn’t mark it, either Waste Management would accidentally take it or, this way, we make sure that people don’t come around here gawking and taking things away and possibly reselling them at yard sales…Please give mercy to these people. I mean, they need to collect whatever they can for the insurance company. Don’t let them lose any more than they already left,” Costa said.

City officials have set up a community recovery center at Bow Creek Community Recreation Center, 3427 Club House Road. It will be open Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you were affected by Matthew, you’re encouraged to go to the center for services. Call 757-385-3111 for more information.