"It was wild and so sudden," Serena Magnan O'Connell said.
The Fourth of July storm touched down and tore up history at Magnan O'Connell's house in Burlington.
"I didn't realize what had happened at first," she said. "They went upstairs and looked out the window and said the willow is on the roof."
The wild weather uprooted the old willow, dropping it against her house. But Magnan O'Connell says surprisingly it didn't do much damage.
"Thank God everyone is OK," she said. "We are lucky I guess."
From a dead hit-- to a near miss.
"This was an intense storm," Barbara Hibbitts said.
Hibbitts' South Burlington neighborhood got slammed. The big poplar by her house fell, crashing onto the tennis court.
"But for the grace of God, go I-- if the wind had shifted a few feet in the other direction I'd be homeless," she said.
Severe weather marched over Chittenden, Washington, Lamoille and Caledonia counties-- a wall of wind, hail, lightning and heavy rain. Wind battered the region as Mother Nature put on her own July Fourth show; flooding streets, blocking roads and leaving a swath of destruction.
A dangerous situation for anyone caught outside-- but no injuries were reported.
The massive cleanup started as soon as the storm ended, with many crews working overnight to clean up debris and restore power.
"For Burlington it was a severe storm," said Barbara Grimes of the Burlington Electric Department. "It wasn't as bad as the ice storm of 1998, but at the height we had 1,300 customers without power and that's large for Burlington Electric."
Now most have power back on. Electric officials credit good communication with the mayor, police chief, fire chief and public works director.
"Heartbreaking. I love this tree," Magnan O'Connell said.
Hiring someone to remove the old willow will cost her thousands... a Fourth of July to remember.
"We won't forget it," Magnan O'Connell said. "But worse things can happen. At least everyone is OK."
And that seems to be what a lot of people are talking about now: for all the damage, we have not had reports of anyone seriously hurt. There were still several hundred people without power Thursday evening, but most were expected to get electricity back by nighttime.
Sunday, May 19 2013 12:06 AM EDT2013-05-19 04:06:03 GMT
Vermont State Police have charged 22-year-old Adam Page of Newport for stealing the Newport City Elementary School bus, which has now been declared totaled. A stolen dog was also recovered in the busMore >>
State Police say he is also being charged with the theft of two other vehicles and a woman's dog.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 11:45 PM EDT2013-05-19 03:45:20 GMT
State police are looking for the person responsible for stealing a school bus and taking it for a joyride in northern Vermont. Troopers say the 2014-model bus belonging Newport City Elementary SchoolMore >>
Police say the school bus belonging to the Newport City Elementary School was taken for a joy ride Friday night.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 10:10 PM EDT2013-05-19 02:10:53 GMT
A fatal accident in Lyndon Saturday. It happened around 2:30 Saturday afternoon on Route 122. Police say 76-year-old Gerda Blaszczyk of St. Johnsbury swerved to avoid an animal. Her car travelled up anMore >>
Police say the driver swerved to avoid an animal.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 8:03 PM EDT2013-05-19 00:03:45 GMT
Senator Bernie Sanders is touring the state this weekend with a special guest. Sanders and the Danish Ambassabdor to the United States are hosting town hall meetings in Burlington, Brattleboro and Montpelier. TheMore >>
Sanders and the Danish Ambassabdor to the United States are hosting town hall meetings.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:56 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:56:03 GMT
Saturday marked a new beginning for Castleton State College students. "Were all gathered here, getting fired up, having a good time," explained Castleton graduate, David Carrier. The 500 graduates hadMore >>
It's graduation day for the class of 20-13 at Castleton State College. And just for the occasion, the college invited back an alumnus with a strong connection to the school.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:51 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:51:14 GMT
Young bikers were learning the rules of the road in South Burlington Saturday. Kids who brought their bikes to the Dorset St. Park received free checks for their brakes, chains, and tires. Helmets alsoMore >>
and much more... making sure kids are safe before they hit the roads this summer.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:49 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:49:26 GMT
On a sun-soaked Saturday, Karen Trayah and her dogs enjoyed the sights, sounds, and of course smells of a festival for fidos. "It's called Woofstock, however, this is our 1st year doing it here at theMore >>
Making sure our furry friends have a place to call home.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 7:54 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:54:10 GMT
The door to room 118 at the Liberty Inn and Suites is gone-- busted by police during an early morning drug raid. They say tenant Julie Herron, 41, was selling heroin out her room. She was living thereMore >>
A South Burlington drug bust exposed new abuses of the state's homeless voucher program. A couple was arrested for selling heroin out of their motel room, and police say the state was footing the bill for their stay.More >>