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Suffolk opens emergency shelter at King's Fork High School after multiple homes damaged by possible tornado

Suffolk opens emergency shelter at King's Fork High School after multiple homes damaged by possible tornado
Suffolk opens emergency shelter at King's Fork High School after multiple homes damaged by possible tornado
Posted at 6:25 AM, Aug 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-04 09:42:04-04

SUFFOLK, Va. - The City of Suffolk is opening an emergency shelter after a possible tornado touched down in Downtown Suffolk as Isaias impacted the area Tuesday morning.

According to the Suffolk Police Department, dispatch was notified of the possible tornado at 3:44 a.m., when it touched down in the 100 block of Saratoga Street.

Fire Station 1, located at Market Street, sustained damage including broken windows and power lines down. A residence at Cedar Street sustained damage when a tree fell on the residence, displacing 12 individuals, including 2 juveniles. Multiple residences in the Riverview neighborhood sustained damage from downed trees, including a tree across a residence at Dumville Avenue. Trees also fell on residences in the 300 block of West Constance Road and the 500 block of County Street.

Public Works crews are also working multiple locations for trees down across the roadway, including the 1400 block of Carolina Road and Route 58 Eastbound at the Regional Landfill.

A business on Saratoga Street, Knight Financial, also sustained heavy damage.

No injuries were reported in connection to any of the incidents.

The City opened an emergency shelter at King’s Fork High School, located at 351 Kings Fork Road. The shelter is ADA compliant and fully generator powered for citizens who are medically dependent on electricity.

Emergency shelters should be considered a means of last resort once all other safe options have been exhausted.

Important information regarding rules, what to bring, prohibited items and more are noted below:

  • Due to COVID-19, citizens should bring their own face masks and practice social distancing while in the shelter.
  • You must sign in before being officially admitted into any shelter
  • "Shelter hopping" is not permitted
  • You are responsible for your belongings. Valuables should always be locked in your car or kept with you. The shelter is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged items.
  • Parents are responsible for controlling the actions of and knowing the whereabouts of their children. Children should not be left unattended.
  • If you have a medical condition or are taking medications, please notify the shelter registrar for referral to the nurse.
  • Noise levels should be kept at a minimum during all hours of the day. Quiet hours are observed between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.
  • Please do your best to keep the shelter as neat and orderly as possible.

What to Bring to a Shelter

Be sure to bring enough supplies to last at least five days (increased from three days for this event) for each family member.

  • bottled water
  • manual can opener and cooler
  • portable flashlight and batteries
  • folding chairs
  • cot/sleeping bag/blanket and pillow
  • first aid kit and any medications
  • ID, car keys, credit cards and cash
  • photocopies of important papers (i.e. insurance policies)
  • canned/packaged food
  • disposable plates, cups, utensils, etc.
  • battery powered radio, TV
  • change of comfortable clothing and shoes
  • quiet games, toys, books, cards
  • toiletries, glasses/contacts, hearing aids and dentures
  • special-diet foods
  • baby supplies (i.e. food/formula, diapers, etc.)

Prohibited Items

  • alcohol, drugs, other illegal substances
  • pets (except assistance dogs)
  • loud radios or televisions
  • smoking, matches, lighters
  • weapons of any kind (guns, knives, chains, etc.)

When to consider going to a shelter

  • You live in an evacuation zone where there likely will be flooding
  • You live in a mobile home or trailer
  • You know your building is unsafe and you cannot repair it before the storm
  • You use life-support equipment that requires electricity

If none of these conditions apply to you, you should think about staying put and fortifying your home, something experts call "sheltering in place." However, if your house is not prepared and fortified or windows or doors are not properly covered, even the weaker winds at the perimeter of a hurricane can cause serious damage.

Citizens should exercise extreme caution on the roadways and are reminded not to attempt to drive across areas with downed power lines or in areas where roadways are covered with water, as the depth is hard to determine in dark conditions.