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Downed oak tree forces special needs bus out of Chesterfield neighborhood

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va., -- A father of a special needs girl said a downed tree across his road wasn't going to stop his children from getting on the bus and to school on time.

Jeff and Habby Baran are parents to a 9-year-old girl and 11 year old boy, all who live on Ghent Circle in Chesterfield.

Both Habby and her daughter have Spina bifida, a birth defect where there is an incomplete closing of the backbone and membranes around the spinal cord, which makes walking very difficult. baran

Early Sunday morning, the strong winds and the saturated ground from Hurricane Matthew caused a giant oak tree to topple down, which blocked access to the family's cul de sac.

"We've been worried about the tree since we moved in last June," said Jeff Baran. "We've been worried about it falling on our house."

Thankfully, the tree missed homes, but it did crash on top of an SUV and power lines cutting electricity to several homes.


Because the big oak was still across the Baran's road, their daughter's special needs bus could not make it to their home.

Jeff said he wasn't going to let mother nature keep his children from catching the bus, so he and his family walked the long way around the tree to Ghent Drive just in time.

"I wasn't going to let them miss school," he said.

About 700 customers were in the dark Tuesday morning, according to Dominion Power. About 300 homes in Chesterfield, more than 300 in Henrico, and just under 100 in Richmond did not have electricity.

Around 9 a.m. Tuesday, about two VDOT and three Dominion Power crews were on scene chopping away at the tree.

Dominion estimated that electricity will be restored to the affected homes by 5 p.m. Tuesday.