VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Not many people know building number two as well as Public Works spokesperson Drew Lankford. He's had an office there for 10 years, but he has no idea when or if he'll be able to return.
"I think what they are in the midst of right now is 'Where can we relocate people to get some of the work done?'” said Lankford.
Monday, Lankford had the opportunity to see some of his co-workers for the first time since Friday's deadly shooting.
"You could almost pick out who was in the building on Friday just by the look on their face. They just had that shocked, dazed look, you know,” said Lankford. "I hugged a couple of people today, ‘I'm okay. I'm okay,’ but I know they are not," said Lankford.
Lankford said some of these employees will not be returning to work this week and that's ok, but the work must go on. Public works, public utilities, planning, permits and Communication IT are all housed in that building.
"[Those departments] are doing a lot of things on a daily basis to keep the city running," said Lankford. "You got water, sewage, roads, traffic engineering and stoplights. They need permits. Everybody can't hold up construction jobs or remodeling jobs and wait.”
Lankford said the city will have to think outside the box when it comes to how to continue this work, especially if they are short staffed.
"We have to call an audible. 'What are we going to do? I know we were planning to do this in the next 12 months, but guess what, 30-day freeze, or 90-day freeze, on that because we will do this, this and this,'" explained Lankford.
Lankford pointed out an expansion project happening on Princess Ann Road.
"That job is not going to stop. We might move a little slow down here and all," said Lankford.
However, an upcoming series of public meetings on sea-level rise has been canceled. For the next few months, it's going to be an ongoing work in progress for these departments.