'Total annihilation': Waterloo Region residents survey the damage after Tuesday's thunderstorm

The thunderstorm may have only lasted a few minutes, but it left hours of work in its path.

After Tuesday night's storm, Waterloo Region residents and emergency crews were busy Wednesday cleaning up downed trees and damaged property left by the nearly 120 km/h winds that blew through the area.

An 80-foot tall maple tree in front Lara Swift's Glasgow Street home in Kitchener was split in half, hitting her house before landing on the yard.

"Peeked out the window just in time to see the top of this giant tree just go," she said. "It was loud, loud and intense, I was really worried it was going to go through the roof."

The tree shattered a window and damaged part of Swift's roof. She estimates cleanup will take a while.

"All the neighbours got out with their chainsaws and cut up all the big branches and pulled them off the road," Swift said.

Part of the tree still stands on her neighbour's lawn.

Some Kitchener residents were shocked by the power of the storm.

"It's really surprising that the wind can be that intense, in that short span of time to actually bring a tree like this down and cause this much damage," Justin Flip said.

"A good hour and a half cleaning up all the branches that had fallen yesterday and cutting them into smaller pieces to drag to the front," said Lyndsay Brown.

"That was the biggest storm I've ever seen go through. Branches just falling, it looked like my yard was filling up," said Gwynne Redford.

Homeowners weren't the only ones dealing with the aftermath.

Waterloo regional police say they received more than 100 reports of dangerous conditions, most related to the storm.

Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro was also kept busy due to downed power lines. About 15,000 customers were without power at the peak of the storm. Power has since been restored to most customers.

At Public House Kitchen and Bar in Kitchener, the newly set up patio was completely destroyed.

"It looked like total annihilation," said co-owner Carly Blasutti.

But the owners arrived to a surprise Wednesday morning, with the walls of their patio fixed.

"It's impossible to be in despair when you have the entire community come to your side," Blasutti said.