Families struggle with clean up after Central Virginia storms

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - At the height of Wednesday night's storm, nearly 17,000 people lost electricity. Most of the power is back on but, for some, the damage was much more severe.

Chainsaws were going strong late in the morning. When you look at the amount of damage, you know why. Around 8:00 Wednesday night, a huge tree came crashing down on Jane and Ranger Guyton's home.

They saw the lightning from their windows and heard what they thought was a clap of thunder. Instead it was the tree landing on their roof.

"I haven't slept all night," said Ranger Guyton. "What do you do?  You can't sleep because you're mind is going 100 miles an hour."

It destroyed their bedroom and his wife's cherished antique vanity. The wind was so strong it uprooted the large oak, which landed on power lines, and crushed both cars.

The Guytons say they just found out their car insurance won't cover the damage because the cars are too old which would create a liability. A family member has donated a car for now.

"We find out both of our vehicles are done," said Guyton. "We have half a house missing. I mean, we just have to play the hand we're dealt."

So does Shirley Dodson who was watching TV in her living room when she heard the same deafening sound.

"All the sudden we're heard a boom," said Dodson. "Oh Lord, I was about ready to die. You don't know until you go through this. Now I know how people feel when they lose everything. It was terrible.

The tree fell from her neighbor's yard, landed on her roof, and destroyed part of her brand new fence.

"Things can be replaced," Dodson added. "Thank God nobody got killed. You work so hard to have it fixed and lose it. It's hard."

Dodson and the Guytons never thought they'd be the storm victims this time around. The clean up continues, and they're just taking one day at a time.

In some cases, homeowners insurance doesn't cover everything inside a home when a storm hits.

It's a good idea to document and take inventory of all items ahead of time that way you know exactly what they're worth when filing a claim.

For more information on preparing yourself before the storm, click here. 