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Halifax tornado damages estimated at $39,500

Halifax County Emergency Services completed its initial damage assessment on 22 structures affected by Wednesday’s EF 2 Tornado around the Virgilina community and determined damages to be estimated at $39,500, according to Halifax County Emergency Services Coordinator W. Kirby Saunders. Emergency personnel began assessing damages and making access to the affected area shortly after 3 a.m. Wednesday morning, Saunders said.

“Teams have spent the last two days surveying homes, farms, roads and all areas affected. Fortunately, all but one property was insured, and many of those affected have begun to make repairs,” the emergency services coordinator said.

During the assessment process, Kirby said officials estimated damage costs by primarily looking at homes and structures.

“These estimates do not take in the costs of debris removal on private property. Debris on public property is removed and reported directly by the Virginia Department of Transportation and is not reflected in these estimates either,” Saunders said.

The majority of the affected properties sustained only minor damages, according to Saunders.

A breakdown of the damage indicated eight single-family homes sustained minor damage, and a total of 13 were affected for a total loss of $10,000.

One mobile home sustained an estimated $20,000 in damage, while one business/industry sustained $500 in damage.

Two non-profit organizations sustained damage, and four others were affected sustaining $5,000 in damage, and four agricultural properties were impacted totaling an estimated $4,000 in damage.

“We are fortunate there were no serious injuries sustained,” Saunders said. “During the survey process we noted many of the homes were only 20 to 30 yards away from complete destruction.

“Many of the residents we spoke with had developed a home emergency plan that they executed during this storm,” he said.

The Halifax County Emergency Services coordinator urges all residents to become more prepared for disasters by getting a kit, making a plan and staying informed.

“One way residents can stay informed is by signing up for the Code RED weather warning service,” Saunders said.

The free service provided by Halifax County to residents will automatically place a phone call to the provided number once a severe weather alert is issued.

Residents can sign up for the service by visiting www.halifaxcountyva.gov and clicking on the “Code RED” link on the homepage.

For those who do not have access to a computer they can register by phone by calling Halifax County Emergency Services at 434-476-6061.

For information on disaster preparedness visit www.readyva.gov.