One Month Since the Derecho: Still Picking Up the Pieces

Reporter: Carleigh Griffeth | Photographer: Levi Washburn

Lynchburg, VA- There is still plenty of damage left over from last month's derecho. And Friday's storm didn't help cleanup efforts at all. It actually brought down more trees in some of the hardest hit areas.

We checked up on these areas today. Some people are still trying to get trees out of their yards. And not just any trees. Hundred-year-old trees with entire root systems still attached. It's a process that's lasted a month, caused massive headaches and will cost a pretty penny.

Four weeks ago Friday night, the derecho roared through the region. Most areas are getting back to normal. But one look at the Langhorne Road synagogue's front yard, and you're reminded of the devastation.

"We've been reviewing the estimates and we're on waitlist. People are busy and I think it's such a big tree and such a massive job that they're doing smaller jobs first," said Cindi Walton, the synagogue Vice President.

Just down the street from a condemned home torn apart in the derecho, lives another person on the waiting list. Beth Payne lost six trees in her own yard. But she's been most worried about a tree that was still standing.

"With the derecho the root actually became separated from the ground maybe an inch so that we kind of knew that it was an imminent problem with the tree potentially coming down," said Payne.

And during Friday's storm, down it came.

"We heard a woosh sound that kind of sounded like a tree, but it could have been thunder. I got up and looked out the window and saw the roots and said, uh-oh, the tree fell. I better go make sure it didn't hit anything," said Payne.

But it did. It fell right onto her neighbor's deck.

"We knew it was an imminent problem. But I really didn't anticipate that we'd have a storm that would bring it down that fast," said Blair Moseley, Payne's neighbor.

Another storm bringing down more trees, when residents haven't even gotten over the last one.

"Anytime the sky gets dark or we hear thunder my children both freak out because of the derecho. And I'm constantly wondering what's going to happen next. And now we know," said Payne.

After a month, that's the one thing that hasn't really gone away for some people. Eventually, roofs will be patched. Trees will be cut. Brush will be hauled away. But when the wind starts to howl, you can't help but think about that scary Friday night.