One week in, Virginia Beach and Norfolk still recovering from hurricane is your source for free local news and information in Virginia Beach

As recovery from Hurricane Matthew nears the one-week remark, residents, officials, volunteers and outside contractors in Virginia Beach and Norfolk are focusing on issues such as debris removal and helping residents who lost everything during the storm. (Photo courtesy City of Virginia Beach TV)
As recovery from Hurricane Matthew nears the one-week remark, officials, volunteers and outside contractors in Virginia Beach and Norfolk are focusing on issues such as debris removal. (Photo courtesy City of Virginia Beach TV)

It’s been almost a week since Hurricane Matthew socked Hampton Roads, and recovery efforts are still underway in Virginia Beach and Norfolk, especially in the hardest-hit areas.

“This is the first weekend for real cleanup,” Trista Fayton, management services administrator for the Norfolk Public Works Department, said in an interview Friday. “There’s a lot out there.”

In Virginia Beach, officials opened a neighborhood recovery center Friday at Bow Creek Recreation Center, 3427 Club House Rd., and are keeping it open through the weekend, including Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The center has officials on hand from city departments, including housing, human services and other social service agencies, to help residents who have lost virtually everything and have nowhere to stay, Media and Communications Manager Marc Davis said in an interview.

The center is situated to help people from neighborhoods most affected by rain and flooding, including Bow Creek, Carriage Hill, Green Run, The Lakes, Pecan Gardens, Princess Anne Plaza, Scarborough Square, Wayside Apartments, Windsor Oaks, Windsor Oaks West and Windsor Woods.

Services available at the center include showers, crisis counseling, a food pantry, temporary housing, property damage reporting and requests for cleanup, also known as “muck and gut.”

Muck and gut is “removing flooring material, carpeting, carrying out all furniture and unattached furnishings and removing drywall to [one] foot above the waterline,” the city says on its website. Anyone who needs help with this process should call 757-385-3111, the city’s 311 line.

As of Friday, the city had received more than 700 damage reports from residents, who either called 311 or completed the city’s online damage report, Davis said.

Volunteers from Operation Blessing and other organizations are reaching out to help Virginia Beach residents with repairs, Davis said.

There have been other signs of progress as well.

The city lifted water restrictions for most residents Friday.

The city’s landfill, at 1989 Jake Sears Rd., reopened Saturday, after being closed for repairs caused during the storm; it will remain open Sunday and Monday from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

And city workers are also collecting curbside debris.

“We’re going to be doing that for days, I am sure,” Davis said.

In Norfolk, debris removal remains an ongoing issue.

Workers from Crowder-Gulf Joint Venture LLP, a disaster-recovery contractor based in Theodore, Ala., arrived in the city Friday and began hauling away downed trees and large debris piles, about the size of the bed of a pickup truck.

“We’re getting that first,” said Project Manager Buddy Young. “We’re going to get it just as quick as we can.”








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Joan Quigley is a former Miami Herald business reporter, a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and an attorney. Her writing has appeared in the Washington Post,, and Talking Points Memo. Her recent book, Just Another Southern Town: Mary Church Terrell and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Nation’s Capital, was shortlisted for the 2017 Mark Lynton History Prize. Her first book, The Day the Earth Caved In: An American Mining Tragedy, won the 2005 J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award.