Storm cleanup starts in Chesterfield county

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - The cleanup is beginning in Chesterfield today, as some powerful storms left a trail of destruction, including several trees that crashed into homes.

Just an incredible amount of damage following the storms in Chesterfield, as a tree comes crashing into a home. Now, the family is working on the first steps to getting their lives back to normal again.

"Picturing my son trapped downstairs, and the rest of the family stuck upstairs, is something you picture by being here," says Elias Dancey, the father of the family that was inside a home when a huge tree came crashing down on top of it.

The entire back of this home is exposed. A tree resting on top, along with signs of children's toys scattered about the backyard.

But despite the mess, Elias Dancey's three young children and his wife, who were inside, escaped with no serious injuries.

"It was a close call for the family. Amazing they were about to get out the way they did," says Dancey.

Today, a cleanup crew is getting rid of the tree, as Elias looks on.

"When you walk up to it, see the size of the tree and the roots, standing in the hallway and see it disappear without a kitchen anymore," says Dancey.

That's when it all hits home, and this is actually the second time a tree has landed on his home recently.

"When smaller things happen, sometimes you're more irritated by them. But when big things happen, you handle them better," adds Dancey.

Meanwhile, the cleanup spreads to other homes. "Thank goodness it wasn't on the house and no one got hurt. It's almost like someone had lifted it up and laid it down on the ground," says Susan Linkous.

"I've got to pick up all these limbs and get them up, rake them up. It's going to be a job today," adds Robert Fields.

Even Zachery Clarke, on his summer break, is doing his part to help cleanup the damage in his backyard. "Moving sticks out of the way, cleaning up stuff off the deck and stuff."

Back at the Dancey home, Elias is first worrying about his family and getting all the necessities out of the home.

"The next couple of months are going to be when the headaches start. Right now, we are just trying to get cleaned up," says Elias. "It's amazing everyone got out safely."

The family tells me it could be a couple of months -- four or five months, maybe longer -- to get back into their home and live a life they are used to living.

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