City, volunteers assist flood victims forced out by asbestos

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — When Kevin Abner saw what the families of Waypoint at Lynnhaven were dealing with in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, he knew he had to do something.

“It tugged at your heart… It just was like, unbelievable,” he said.

Abner said one of his employees was among the many residents who learned their leases had been terminated after management found material containing asbestos during repairs from flooding.

The apartment’s management company told WAVY News that terminating the leases was a difficult decision, but they wanted to put the health and safety of residents first.

Abner was at a city recovery center Tuesday at Church of the Holy Apostles to give his support, along with a team of volunteers, loaded up with supplies.

“We’re not just talking about right now. This right here is going to affect them through, in this whole holiday season. You know, we’re talking about like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, everything,” Abner said.

Sandra Shawhan is a Waypoint resident who has not been home since the storm.

“It touches my heart. It really does, and we really appreciate the whole community coming together and helping out as much as they possibly can… We lost everything. I lost my vehicle. It’s put real hardship on me. I haven’t been able to get to work,” she said.

Shawhan had scheduled an appointment Wednesday to try to find a new place to live.

“I’m not real sure where we’re going to go from here, or what we’re going to do, but we’re gonna stand together and stay strong,” she said.

Adam Zubowsky, a representative from the Department of Human Services said the city had counselors and school and housing resources available for the displaced residents at the recovery center at Church of the Holy Apostles on Lynnhaven Parkway.

“We’ve actually brought in landlords and tenant companies to accept applications, that if somebody’s apartment has been deemed uninhabitable, these folks will be able to apply for housing,” Zubowsky said.

The center will be open from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Virginia Beach setting up recovery center for Waypoint residents

Coco Lyon, a representative from Kettler, which manages the property, said residents currently staying in hotels paid by the property manager can remain there until November 2. The company is refunding security deposits and giving a rent rebate for everyone for October 10 to October 31.

Residents who had been living in ground floor units not affected by asbestos have until 5 p.m. Wednesday to complete a waiver and pick up belongings, Lyon said. Staff members were working to retrieve important items like birth certificates, passports, and non-porous items from units, she said.