Danville residents in cleanup mode after Thursday microburst creates mess

Numerous trees down, buildings, cars damaged

DANVILLE, Va. – The sound of chainsaws cutting up trees was all Charlotte Avenue residents heard Friday.

Sitting on their front porch, Merle Murphy and her husband had a front-row seat for the action.

"It barely missed the truck, that tree across our driveway, so we were thankful that that wasn't damaged," Murphy said.

By midmorning, her neighbor, Sam Brown, had fired up his generator so she and her husband could plug an extension cord into it and get some power while they waited for their power to come back on.

"This is a real close neighborhood right here. Everybody's close. They take care of one another. I just wanted to make sure they were safe," Brown said.

Brown says he was almost blown away when the storm came through Thursday afternoon.

"I was sitting at my mailbox getting my mail out and all of a sudden the back end of my truck raised up," he said. "It was probably raised up about a foot off the ground. It took the liner out of the back of it and threw it over the top of the truck."

A fence also blew over and landed on two cars parked in his driveway.

A few houses away, Ricky Edwards was helping volunteers cut up a tree in his front yard.

The storm was so loud he didn't hear the tree fall.

"I heard hail just beating on the side of the house, so I went to the kitchen and looked out. When I came back, you couldn't even see out of the picture window," Edwards said.

While residents on Charlotte Avenue may have seen the worst of the damage, they certainly were not the only residents to see damage. Just a few streets away, a massive tree effectively destroyed a garage, which had two classic cars inside

While the storm created a lot of work for residents, Edwards said it will also save him some work.

"I've been wanting to get those two maple trees topped out so they'll start shaping out real good. Well, I don't have to worry about that anymore," Edwards said.

God's Pit Crew volunteers were out helping clean up Friday.

On Friday morning, they were cutting up a tree next to Woodlawn Baptist Church on Westover Drive.

"When we got the call last night about 10 o' clock to come out, I immediately picked up my phone and called my contact man with God's Pit Crew, and he said, 'Come on,'" volunteer Frankie West said. "I enjoy this kind of work, getting out and cleaning up debris and helping people."

For the next three weeks, the city's storm debris collection fee will be waived to help residents clean up.