June 22, 2011
It has been one year since a microburst ripped through the Charlottesville area on June 24 of last year, leaving behind a wide area of effect. One year later, Albert Shank still remembers that day and the storm's long-lasting effects.
Shank has lived in a home with his family for the past 35 years. Last summer's severe storm interrupted their stay.
"All of a sudden, a tree hit the house," he recalled. The commotion woke him and his wife of 45 years from their sleep. Winds in excess of 90 mph tore apart their home and condemned the structure for four months.
"Being displaced out of our house and being pushed over into an apartment was a little bit cumbersome," he said of staying in a hotel for more than four months.
For the City of Charlottesville, cleanup costs totaled $200,000. Officials have applied for a disaster grant known as the Commonwealth Emergency Relief for Localities, which covers localized weather disasters ineligible for aid from FEMA.
Meanwhile, Shank says his insurance claims amounted to $250,000. His family's Kenwood Lane home was torn apart and the car flattened. Despite all that, he has kept a positive attitude.
"We were lucky compared to many," he commented. Lucky that no one was injured, and that they had insurance papers in order. "Check your insurance. Be prepared. That's the key thing."
Shank says he still gets nervous during thunderstorms.