Lynchburg, VA - City and local organization officials met at CVCC Friday to look at their response to the June storm that left a wake of destruction and millions without power.
The agencies on hand took a close look at how they handled June's derecho in an "After Action Review" meeting. The more than 10 different departments and organizations that participated all had an important part to play in the recovery of one of the worst storms in Lynchburg history.
The power may be back, and the streets are clear, but the storm that caused so much destruction will stay with those affected forever.
"It was devastating to see trees on houses. Huge trees on houses," said a Lynchburg resident.
Nearly two months later, the cleanup continues.
"Well the recovery is not complete yet. We think that maybe we're 85-90% on our debris removal, we've still got a ways to go," said Kimball Payne, Lynchburg city manager.
City officials from numerous departments, along with members of Thomas Road Baptist Church, the Red Cross, and AEP gathered to address their storm response.
Four critical questions were asked of all the participants:
"What happened that was unexpected during that storm event? What are they particularly proud of that went well? What areas could we improve upon? Then what specific actions could we take that would implement those improvements?" said Payne.
Answers varied. There were strengths:
"The incredible positive and enthusiastic, dedicated response from city employees, schools' employees, volunteers, the red cross," said Payne.
"We do see some areas for improvement, in terms of communications, both within our organizations, and with the public."
The public was not allowed in this closed meeting. Payne says that was because he wanted each of the participants to speak honestly and openly. A report will be compiled with the meeting's findings and released to the public in September.