City leaders: Lynchburg damage estimated at more than $8 Million

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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) - The damage from the tornado in Lynchburg is estimated to be more than $8 million, according to city leaders.

"More than 330 buildings have some form of damage and of that number, 59 have major damage and 32 have been condemned," according to a statement.

Cleanup has been non-stop since Sunday. Lynchburg Public Works employees have been doing their part to clean up the storm damage.

"We are all hands on deck. We were 24/7 for the first couple of days of the storm. now we are working 12-hour shifts from sunlight to sunset," Public Works Director Gaynelle Hart.

According to Hart, their first priority after the tornado hit was to get roads open.

Now they are busy hauling brush and large trees from some of the hardest hit neighborhoods while keeping an eye out for Appalachian Power.

"We are trying to stay out of their way so they can restore power," she said.

All of the wood is being stored in one location and pushed together to create a wall.

Trucks dropped off truck-loads full of wood and brush non-stop Thursday afternoon.

"Once we get it all collected and feel like we're all finished up with brush collection for this storm, we'll hire someone to grind all the wood into mulch."

Neighbors say they've seen what they call "damage sightseers" crowding the streets.

Hart has a message for them: "I would ask, if you are not part of that neighborhood and you see us cleaning up, please stay out of that particular neighborhood and let us do our job."

Hart hesitated to give an estimate on when clean-up will be complete but said it could be more than 2-months.

The city will host a volunteer day for city employees on Saturday, April 21 to help those residents who have damage from the tornado.
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