Fallen trees damage several homes in Chesterfield

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – One specific part of Chesterfield County was hit hardest by last night's storms. The neighborhoods are concentrated in the Lucks Lane-Courthouse Road area, where the pattern of damage has raised questions about just what happened.

Clean up is well under way at Gary Robinson's house. He has one tree, sliced down to manageable pieces. Now he needs to tackle a giant oak that's toppled onto part of his house. This is just one of 14 homes in the area hit with severe damage. Gary's dealing with it, but one couple- on vacation- has yet to find out what's happened to their house.

David Packett does not want to give his neighbors the bad news.

David Packett: "They're on a cruise. They don't even know this happened."
Melissa Correa: "Have you tried to get a hold of them?"
David Packett: "I don't want to ruin their cruise."

Thursday, a pine tree had enough of the weather and snapped.

David Packett: "It hit the house, then bounced off the house and came down and smashed into their SUV as you can see here."
Melissa Correa: "Do you think you could have this cleaned up by the time they return on Tuesday?"
David Packett: "That's my mission."

Kevin, the neighbor's brother-in-law raced out here so fast, he came in flip-flops. He watched his step as he took a tree apart. Clean up in Chesterfield is extensive- crews are having to use a pulley system, very high ladders- some are even using cranes.

Gary Robinson's enormous oak tree isn't budging yet.

Melissa Correa: "You hadn't heard it slam into your house or anything?"
Gary Robinson: "We did not even hear it slam. The wind was so strong."

His living room and storage room are gone. This afternoon, the county cut his gas- his home wasn't condemned- but living here will be hard.

"This, I think, was the most devastating. I had a grill- which was completely smashed. You don't want to take a man's grill away," said Gary.

Roger Robertson, a building inspector, worked in the field Friday.

"I'm not a weather expert- but something rotational in nature did take place," said Roger.

Robertson had to condemn at least four homes today. David's still wondering how he will break the news.

"We really needed the rain, but not at the cost that we paid," said Packett.

David Packett's neighbors are on a cruise in the Bahamas. They are expected home Tuesday. He and the rest of his neighbors hope to have this debris cleaned up before then.

Chesterfield County building inspectors want to make sure all structures are safe. If you're concerned about your property you need to call the county at 748-1779 to request an inspector to take a look at your home.

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