5:11 PM EDT, July 6, 2012
Power crews called it the storm of the century, and still thousands of you are literally starting to see the light once again.
With electricity now restored to hundreds of thousands of people we want to catch you up on some of the events associated with this week's power disaster.
Friday night's damaging winds knocked out lights to nearly a million homes and businesses in our area leaving towns and cities in shambles; completely in the dark.
"They said it would be up to 60 miles per hour; this was more," said Shirley Craddock. Trees fell on her mobile home during Friday's storm.
"It reminded me very similiar to a hurricane. You didn't have damage in one spot. It was pretty much spread out," said Matt Walker, a Bath County Administrator.
Longtime Appalachian Power workers said the storm was twice as bad as anything they've seen.
The disaster killed 13 people in the mid west and mid Atlantic states; four in our area, including John Echternach, a Boones Mill firefighter.
Friday night, a tree fell on top of him as he was trying to help someone get out of their car.
In Bedford the same night an elderly couple died when a tree toppled onto a power line, which then started their home on fire.
The storm passed quickly, leaving a path of devastation.
Millions of trees toppled and ripped out of the ground.
Homes across the region and cars, like one nearly flattened when a huge tree landed on it, almost cut in two.
"A big boom hit and I opened my door to look out, and it was such a big whirlwind," said Linda Willis. Trees busted her car's window Friday.
"We don't have any help We got clothes in there. We don't have nothing. We don't have food. We need somewhere to live at," said Shantell English. Power lines laying in front of her home keep her from getting in her home.
The heat made matters worse.
Cooling centers provided relief from the sweltering temperatures.
Countless shelters were flooded with people needing food, water, and a place to sleep.
"I've been without air and food since Friday evening since the storm hit and I just wanted to bring my little ones out here so they can get cool," said Pamela Borders, a parent waiting in line for food.
Vacation was cut short for dozens of people stopping in the region for the night. Hotels hosted guests in the dark.
"We're from Williamsburg. We'll turn around and go home. We'll call it a short getaway instead of a weekend getaway," said Charles Howard, who stayed at a Roanoke hotel Friday night.
Generators weren't enough to power two local hospitals.
Martinsville Memorial Hospital temporarily lost air conditioning, postposed operations and evacuated a floor.
In Lynchburg, Thomas Road Baptist Church became an extension of the city's hospital.
Like clock work, power crews descended on our region.
Friday Appalachian Power said it has more than 4,200 workers restoring power and has replaced 500 broken poles.
Now a week after the power disaster, the company plans to have 95 percent of its customers back on line by Sunday.
Literally and figuratively, light at the end of this weather fiasco.
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