APPLETON, Wis. - Many parts of the Fox Valley are picking up the pieces after a spring ice storm.
"Were you scared?" FOX 11 asked Megan Schultz, whose house off of Richmond and Grant streets in Appleton is surrounded by downed limbs and a power line. "Very! Very scared!" said Schultz of the early morning chaos. "Our backyard is destroyed."
Megan Schultz says she, her husband and two children are lucky, as she took us around to the back of her home, stepping over branches – the crunch of ice under our feet.
The majority of the damage to her home from the falling limbs is to the garage, fence and some outdoor furniture.
But hours earlier, Schultz had no idea what was going to happen.
"Laying in bed at about five o'clock this morning and just listening to the cracking every 10 minutes," said Shultz, whose bedroom is on the second floor of her house, under the canopy of a two towering trees. "Wondering where the branches would land."
It's a feeling many in Appleton can relate to Wednesday.
"It was in slow motion, just crash," said Chris Biggs of the limb that came down in front of him as he sat on his front porch drinking coffee.
Ice covered virtually every surface exposed to the weather, the weight of the ice and wind snapping limbs, taking down power lines, subsequently blocking streets.
It was virtually impossible to traverse the city without coming across downed trees and power lines, as people waited for crews to repair the damage.
"I woke up with power, but then there was people that didn't have power," said Biggs, walking the neighborhood near Spring and Lawe streets. "Now I'm included in one of the ones without power."
And the outages didn't discriminate.
"We were without power just under five hours," said Jill Case-Wirth, vice president of clinical services for Appleton Medical Center.
Case-Wirth says inpatient care wasn't affected. But some appointments were canceled.
"So we looked first at our elective procedures and surgeries and either canceled the morning cases or delayed the afternoon ones," she said.
While AMC was able to get back up and running around 10 a.m., the Appleton Area School District eventually decided to cancel classes for safety concerns.
"Initially, the district went to a two-hour delay," said superintendent Lee Allinger.
Tree limbs and power lines blocked streets and sidewalks, making it dangerous for students. Several schools in the district also did not have power. Allinger hopes classes will resume tomorrow.
"We've used two snow days," said Allinger. "This is our third, so we'll have to look at our calendar and this school day will have to be made up."
Something Schultz expects won't go over very well with her children.
"I'm sure they won't like that."
Appleton has issued a notice that the city will provide tree and branch collection starting Monday. Trees put out must not exceed eight feet in length - and debris less than four inches around must be bundled.
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