NEWPORT NEWS--People evacuated from their flooded homes at Great Oak apartments in Newport News were returning Monday to see what could be salvaged.
A checkpoint was set up outside the complex as residents returned to retrieve belongings.
One resident who went in came out clutching an American flag. Her eyes welled up when she talked about how important it was for her. The flag had been draped over the casket of her father, who served in WWII.
About 90% of the apartments at Great Oak have been condemned, police said.
Newport News Redevelopment Housing Authority officials said there were between 21 and 27 apartments that weren't flooded. They're working to get power back on in those units so people can move back in.
Over the weekend, city officials said all residential units there at at City Line apartments had been condemned because of the damaging flood waters. However, they expected that repairs in some of the units wouldn't take long and that residents wouldn't be out of their homes for too long.
Initially, residents were taken to Warwick High School, which was set up as an emergency shelter. It closed at 5:00 p.m. Monday.
For residents who can't return home, housing arrangements are being made through the city and the Red Cross. The Red Cross provided them with blankets, food, comfort kits and hygiene supplies. Red Cross disaster volunteers are also coordinating with Newport News Housing & Redevelopment, Human Services personnel and numerous faith-based groups to meet longer-term needs for residents, many of whom are elderly and have special needs.
Police spokeswoman Holly McPherson said precinct officers will conduct checks during shifts and added that the apartment complexes will have their own private security.