LYNCHBURG, VA --
Lynchburg is one of the cities in our area that may have been hit hardest by Friday's storm. AEP reports Sunday, more than 25,000 customers are still without power there and city officials estimate between 15 and 20 roads are completely blocked.
For those people living off of Interlink Road, the only thing more unbelievable than the scene of destruction left after Friday's storm, was what they witnessed first hand. "It was incredible. I have never seen such velocity of sustained wind before," said Peter Alexander.
The neighborhood's only road in and out is completely blocked along with several side roads, meaning nobody can get in, but most importantly they can't get out. Alexander says he has two children with autism, but is even more concerned for those people who may need immediate help and have been cut off from it. "There are some people here who are down to one or two days on their medications. There are people who are wheelchair bound and a couple of invalids. We had a situation earlier with an invalid, where emergency response people not being able to readily get into the area. This neighborhood is impenetrable. We can only walk in and out of here," Alexander said.
Chief Brad Ferguson with the Lynchburg Fire Department says the city is doing what they can to help. "We have people who can't get out or the streets are blocked. We have to get the stretcher and walk it in. If we have a call, we will get someone there. It may take us awhile," Ferguson explained.
Families who live in one trapped neighborhood hope power crews will help them soon.
The Sedgewick Drive community is blocked in by downed trees and power lines. Families have not been able to get in or out since the derecho storm Friday night.
Longtime residents like Mary Brust say they've never seen anything like it.
Governor Bob McDonnell said the Lynchburg VDOT district was one of the two hardest hit in the Commonwealth for road blockages, by downed trees and power lines.
As of 4:00 p.m. Sunday, Appalachian Power's website showed more than 26,000 customers in Lynchburg without electricity.
From Chris Whitley, Fox 21/27 reporter in the field
Lynchburg City leaders say between 15-20 roads are still blocked as of Sunday morning. Most are closed due to downed trees on power lines. The city says it is working with Appalachian Power to make sure the power lines are not "live," before clearing the roads.
Luckily, no one was hurt in Lynchburg by the storm, but there have been many "heat-related" calls for help.
Centra Health says Lynchburg General Hospital is running on full power.
Virginia Baptist Hospital is still on emergency power.
There's a 24-hour shelter at Heritage High School. Pets are allowed, but owners must stay with them and bring food, along with vaccination records for their pets.
Thomas Road Baptist Church is being used as a cooling station, and is open for 24 hours.
About half of Lynchburg City Schools have electricity. Teachers and summer school students will get the day off on Monday, as schools will be closed on "employee code 2." School leaders say 12-month employees must still reports to work on Monday.