Imagine leaving your home and belongings behind. For many along Meadowbrook Road and other areas in the region pummeled by the historic rain and flooding, it's a bleak reality.
"You haven't been forgotten, just like us, the fire department, and other city resources, we're out there and we're going to help you get through this,” Lieutenant Rick Morrison of Roanoke City Police Department said.
Comforting words, but the fear of looting is always a worry. With thousands of dollars in damage and possible contamination, homeowners have no choice but to leave their homes. Police say they're targeting the neighborhoods hit hardest.
"By knowing the areas where people are choosing to vacate because of safety issues or because they're property has been flooded or damaged, we can deploy officers there more strategically,” Lieutenant Morrison said.
If you do have to leave, there are ways to proactively protect your house and valuables.
"Take those valuables with you, all the more better. If you can't, hide them somewhere that would be safe or out of the way for the ordinary thief. You also want to make sure your house still looks lived in,” Morrison said.
It may seem like common sense, but police say doing this can keep your home safe and until those families can return to their homes, police say they will keep a watchful eye.
Lieutenant Morrison told WDBJ7 Friday that looting hasn't been an issue.
He attributes that to a vigilant community and beefed up patrols in the areas hit hardest by storm damage.