Remembering the Derecho: One Year Later

A before and after shot of the damage left behind to one family's home from the June 29, 2012 derecho.

Lynchburg, VA - Saturday marked the one year anniversary of the violent wind storm, known as a derecho, which blew through our area from the west.

June, 29, 2012 is a day that many in Central Virginia will never forget. What seemed like a normal summer night turned very violent for our entire area in just a matter of minutes.

Most people say they remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when all learned a new word, and experienced the full force of a derecho.

In a matter of minutes, the "Derecho of 2012" uprooted trees, smashed homes, and left behind quite a mess.

As the hot sun rose on June 30, 2012, the stories of survival are still being told.

"I heard a crash and then a giant boom, and then everything fell through," said Roger Williams, who was inside his house during the derecho.

"My heart is just like beating so fast, it just all happened so suddenly," said Tamra Williams, who survived the derecho.

In the first 24 hours, Appalachian Power reported more than 184,000 customers without power. The numbers statewide were much higher.

Even seasoned AEP workers said it was the worst damage they had ever seen.

"This is one of the worse storms with all the damage that it done, the winds were very high," said one worker.

What a difference a year makes.

ABC 13 caught up with a family who lives in a house that had several trees crash through their home. They say just last month they put the finishing touches on their front yard.

The Browns have much of the same story. After their house played host to several trees after the storm, they now fear every storm.

"We check out the weather more than we ever have," said Christ Brown.

While the Brown's house is completely repaired now, they are still working to restore their backyard to its full beauty. The family says they hope they will never have to relieve the fury of a derecho.

"Please God, don't let that happen again," Brown said.

Most of the ABC 13 viewing was without power for up to a week, and some places they were without for more than a week as temperatures remained at or above 100 degrees for several days afterward.