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Fireworks damage vehicles in neighborhood

While fireworks brightened the skies above the Nansemond River at Constant’s Wharf Park and Marina on July 4, they also caused damage to vehicles in the nearby River Point Condominiums neighborhood, according to city police reports.

Vehicles belonging to 10 residents were reportedly damaged by the fireworks display that took place, and the city took police reports for those, according to city spokeswoman Diana Klink.

Residents on River Point Drive reported “minor to moderate damage to paint surfaces on the roofs and hoods of their vehicles believed to have been caused by the fireworks the night before,” Klink said.

City staff has followed up at the condo complex, she said, and has spoken with homeowner’s association president Rich Kovalik and several residents.

She said the city provided claim forms to residents, and the city’s insurance carrier, the Virginia Risk Sharing Association, was notified and “will be processing any claims and subrogating against the vendor for all damages.”

The fireworks were initially scheduled for 9 p.m., but thunderstorms forced a delay in the fireworks until 9:20 p.m.

Kovalik said neither he nor other residents noticed any issues with the fireworks until the next morning.

He said he found a white, powder-like substance on his car, but otherwise it did not sustain damage. Other residents, he said, reported burned spots on the plastic of their cars and had their cars’ coatings damaged. The neighborhood had “quite a bit” of fireworks debris, Kovalik said.

“It was all over the parking lot,” Kovalik said. “It was all over the grass. It was everywhere.”

Kovalik, who said he could not recall another such incident in the neighborhood, said he isn’t sure how the fireworks were able to damage vehicles there, but others in the neighborhood told him they were more certain.

“Some people had said the barge was a lot closer (to the neighborhood) than it used to be,” Kovalik said.

He said city officials went out in the neighborhood to speak to residents and passed out claim forms to residents who reported damage to their vehicles.

“They said they would take care of it,” Kovalik said of the city. “They were very eager to take care of any problems.”