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Downtown building to be demolished

A commercial building in downtown Suffolk that was damaged in the Aug. 4 tornado has been deemed a total loss and will be demolished within the next week to 10 days, according to a city press release.

The building sits at the southwest corner of Saratoga Street and West Washington Street. It is about a century old, the press release stated, and included addresses ranging from 101 to 113 S. Saratoga St. Also known as the Knight Finance building, it was “mostly vacant,” the city said in a press release, although at least one person was renting an apartment there on an upper floor.

The building sits between the Suffolk News-Herald’s permanent office at 130 S. Saratoga St. and the Brandon House furniture store at 219 W. Washington St., two other structures that sustained significant damage during the EF1 tornado spawned by Tropical Storm Isaias.

As a result of the upcoming demolition, the road closure in the area remains in effect from West Washington Street at Main Street to Pine Street, as well as South Saratoga Street at West Washington Street to Smith Street.

Sidewalks also remain closed in several areas; however, businesses that were not directly impacted remain open.

The city stated that the two tornadoes that touched down during the storm damaged a total of 114 residential and commercial structures, with damage ranging from minor to total losses. The estimated damage value is about $4.3 million.