Officials: 6 businesses, 14 homes damaged from storm, no injuries

Published 8:26 pm Saturday, May 11, 2019

Update 10:30 p.m. Saturday

Six businesses and 14 residences sustained damage from a storm that passed over Suffolk just before 7 p.m. Saturday, with several roads closed to through traffic.

Suffolk Police and Suffolk Fire and Rescue said they have confirmed the total following a preliminary assessment, and said the primary damage area is in the Wilroy Road area, with damaged businesses on Constance Road.

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A resident called Emergency Communications around 6:53 p.m. to report that a tree fell down in front of a business in the 500 block of Constance Road, according to a news release.

Ten homes on MacArthur Drive have reported damages, with four sustaining major damage, according to a news release, while Myrtle Road had two homes sustain major damage. A tree fell on a detached garage on Proctor Street, and a home on Elm Street sustained minor damage.

Damages to businesses have included blown out windows and issues with HVAC units on roofs. There have been no reports of injuries, according to Suffolk Police and Suffolk Fire and Rescue.

The following roads are closed to through traffic, according to the city:

  • Wilroy Road and Constance Road
  • Elm Street and Constance Road
  • Myrtle Street and Constance Road
  • Proctor Street and Constance Road
  • Proctor Street and Wilroy Road
  • Suburban Drive and Wilroy Road

The city said that residents who live in the affected neighborhoods need to show identification in order to enter the area, and will be permitted to do so unless it is unsafe due to downed power lines or other safety issues.

According to a news release, there was a report of a structure fire in the 1800 block of Nansemond Parkway at 7:03 p.m., and crews reached the scene at 7:12 p.m.

When firefighters arrived, they found heavy fire in the attic area of the brick ranch-style home, the release stated, and residents of the home were able to get out before firefighters arrived. Crews were able to rescue a dog from the home, and there were no injuries. Four people living in the home have been displaced as a result of the fire and the American Red Cross will be helping them. The fire was under control at 7:53 p.m., according to a news release.

Units responding included Engines 2, 5, 10, Ladder 5, Medic 10, Battalion 2 and Safety 1, and the Fire Marshal’s office will be investigating the cause of the fire, the release said.

The city notes that the information it has is preliminary, and updates will be provided when crews are able to evaluate damages in the area in the morning.


Suffolk Emergency Communications has received multiple calls related to damages from suspected tornado activity Saturday evening, but no reports of injuries.

Suffolk Police and Suffolk Fire and Rescue are checking residences in the Eastover neighborhood on Wilroy Road and MacArthur Drive, according to a city press release, and five  residences have reported damages with trees and power lines down in the area.

Power lines are also reported down in the 900 block of Portsmouth Boulevard, and in the Kilby Shores neighborhood in the 1400 block of Planters Drive, there have been downed trees reported, the city press release states.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue crews are also on the scene of a residential structure fire in the 1800 block of Nansemond Parkway, with the call coming in around 7:33 p.m., the city press release states. It was believed the residence had been struck by lightning.

The 1800 block of Nansemond Parkway is currently closed to through traffic and detours are in place at Monticello View.

Dominion Energy reported 191 people in Suffolk without power as of 8:30 p.m. Saturday. That total has been updated to 184 customers without power as of 9:20 p.m. and 187 customers without power as of 10:30 p.m.

According to Dominion Energy’s outage map, one of those outages is in an area near the corner of Wilroy Road and U.S. 58 Business.  It says 38 customers are without power in that area.

Another outage, according to Dominion, is across U.S. 58 Business in an area along Alabama Avenue near U.S. 58 Business, to Florida Avenue and Georgia Avenue, also covering that section of Hollywood Avenue, which splits those streets. Dominion’s outage map says that the outage is due to a damaged power line, and 23 customers are without power.

Dominion is also reporting an outage in the downtown area near Carolina Road and South Main and Cedar streets near Hall Avenue, where 60 residents are without power.

In North Suffolk, Dominion is reporting an outage of 51 residents off of Bennetts Pasture Road along an area that includes Harbor Road, Dominion Drive and Stratford Drive.

The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for Suffolk just before 7 p.m., and that expired at 8:15 p.m. It said that at 6:51 p.m., a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located over downtown Suffolk and had been moving east at 15 mph.

At 6:51 p.m. a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located over Downtown Suffolk, moving east at 15 mph.

Spokeswoman Diana Klink said the city would provide updates as it receives damage assessments.