GLOUCESTER, VA (WWBT) - According to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management 10 people died, more than 100 were injured, 212 homes were destroyed and another 1,050 homes and businesses were damaged during the outbreak of storms from April 8 to April 28.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) denied Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell's request for aid. Thursday morning, as the governor considered appealing the federal decision, he asked Virginians to step up and help their neighbors in need. Places like Gloucester need all the help they can get.
"It happened in like 8-10 seconds," remembered Joseph Kanaday who explained how he watched the tornado twist through Gloucester from his kitchen window.
Three weeks later, his neighborhood continues to be punished from the storm. "And you walk outside and this is it," said Kanaday. "It just totally just destroyed everything."
His truck is dented on both sides. His two-story three-car garage was blown away, part of it getting tangled in the tree line next to his property. But Thursday afternoon, with the exception of a small pile of debris, his property was clear. Kanaday said it's because of volunteers.
"We've had anywhere from 10-15 people everyday for about three weeks," Kanaday said.
The acts of kindness went straight to his heart. "It would have took us, if it was just me and my wife, it would have took us a year," explained the Gloucester man who lives on Shelly Road.
But about one mile away on Hickory Fork Road, "There's three adults and a child in here now," Heather Davis and her family are crammed in a camper that stretches about half the size of a school bus.
"I was hoping FEMA would come through and give us trailers because really we have no where to sleep in here," said Davis as she led us into the camper on loan from her neighbor. How do you feel about not getting any money [from FEMA]? "It's really crappy."
Davis is glad she's alive and that her home is getting a new lease on life, two men were installing new siding during our Thursday afternoon interview. A new roof and windows were already installed. But Davis said, "We just need more help from everybody."
Piles of debris sit untouched outside homes covered in blue. More than a dozen roofs are covered in tarp.
David Deptola, a contractor, said he is working as fast as he can.
"It really stinks," Deptola said. "I mean, under these circumstances, it's not the way I'd like to get work."
People are slowly moving through the insurance process, though neighbors said some people didn't save for a rainy day.
"A lot of people just don't have the money," Deptola said.
Disappointed with the federal government, Heather is glad Virginians are stepping up.
"Everybody's helped us so much I really hate asking for more help," said Davis while standing in between the two beds in her camper. But you need it? "Yeah. We do."
State employees are now pulling paperwork, evaluating its case against the federal government as Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell considers appealing FEMA's decision.
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