The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

Local News

October 31, 2012

Emergency officials grapple with Hurricane Sandy’s impact

Emergency officials — and residents and business owners — throughout West Virginia continued to grapple with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy on Tuesday. As the recovery commenced, the storm continued to deal more blows to the area.

As the day wore on, the numbers of those without power service continued to rise. In Fayette County for example, Appalachian Power Co. spokesman Phil Moye said the number of customers without power had risen from 10,690 as of 8:45 a.m. to 13,600 as of about 1 p.m. The number of state customers without service had mounted, as well, going from 90,000 to 155,000 in the same time span.

“We’re still in the storm, and the outage numbers are going up, as well,” said Moye. “They’re not heading in the direction we’d hoped.”

Moye said it’s too early to predict when service will be restored. “To put any timeline on it would be premature.”

The company was still in the process Tuesday of assessing where damage exists, and — while assessing its service area — it first must concentrate on restoring service at larger known outage areas and in situations involving critical infrastructure.

Steve Cruikshank, deputy director of the Fayette County Office of Emergency Services, said earlier Tuesday that a shelter was being set up at the First Church of God in Fayetteville, and others are on stand-by.

The county has a National Guard liaison on hand, as well as a health and welfare team. Cruikshank said a request has been made for more personnel.

In addition to their regular duties, Fayette County Sheriff Steve Kessler and his deputies are available and “will do about anything,” Cruikshank said.

Anyone with non-emergency storm-related concerns can call the Fayette County OES at 304-574-1610 or 304-574-3285. If it’s an emergency, call 911.

Fayetteville Town Superintendent Bill Lanham said the First Church of God shelter is a warming shelter, and he thanks the church and volunteers for offering the service, as well as agreeing to house Division of Forestry workers who plan on being in town to help cut trees felled by the storm. Lanham estimates three-fourths of the town is affected one way or another by downed trees.

“We’re now primarily working on keeping the streets cleared and plowed (of snow),” Lanham said. “Our crews are doing a marvelous job.”

Tree removal will occur when possible, and safety to workers is “paramount” when accomplishing that chore.

The town was still without power as of mid-afternoon Tuesday.

As officials and employees continue the recovery, Lanham asked residents to “be patient and bear with us.”

He also offered advice given by many others. “Please stay indoors if you can.”

In Ansted, Mayor Pete Hobbs said Monday local churches were ready, willing and able to activate a kitchen if necessary.

Emergency response officials responded to “all kinds of wrecks” overnight Monday and earlier Tuesday, as well as fallen trees and other storm-related incidents, Cruikshank said.

He was unaware of any injuries directly related to the storm, although some of the wrecks may have resulted in injuries.

While the roads have cleared somewhat but with possibly more bad weather to come, Cruikshank says, “(People) shouldn’t go out unless they’ve got a need. During the (summer) storm, we were really hampered by people (out on the roads) looking to see what they could see.”

Oak Hill City Manager Bill Hannabass says the city appears to have escaped major problems.

“Overall, Oak Hill was extremely lucky,” he said while driving around Tuesday afternoon assessing the damage. There were some isolated power outages, including Woodbridge Road along Rte. 61, and workers had to clear some trees out of the roadways. Hannabass was unaware of any major structural damage.

One of the main problems was keeping ahead of snow removal efforts in the early stages of the storm, as the snow’s pace was overwhelming for a while. “This morning the roads were really treacherous.”

For more Oak Hill storm news, visit the Facebook page Oak Hill Info.

---

Besides the closure of county schools, a number of events were canceled or postponed earlier in the week because of the storm, including the Fayette County 4-H’s Trick or Treat for Canned Goods. The event now is set for Nov. 2 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Oak Hill has rescheduled Trick or Treat for Saturday, Nov. 3 from 6 to 8 p.m.

The National Park Service on Monday announced closure of all units of the New River Gorge National River until further notice. The NPS was concerned about the safety of trails and campgrounds where weakened tree systems from the derecho could create hazardous conditions.

(C.V. Moore contributed to this article.)

— E-mail: skeenan@register-herald.com

1
Text Only
Local News
  • ee 1.jpg Energy Express makes impact on students’ lives

    Energy Express to him, Matt White says, is all about a “different experience.”

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • maurices Fostering Self-Esteem

    The local Maurices is involved in a project aimed at making the school transition a little easier this fall for foster children in the area.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Children’s Health and Safety Fair scheduled for August 1

    Montgomery General Hospital and Dr. Traci Acklin have announced that the 2014 Children’s Health and Safety Fair will be held on Friday, Aug. 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the hospital.

    July 21, 2014

  • Theater to hold auditions

    Open auditions are set for Tuesday and Thursday at the Historic Fayette Theater for the comedy/drama “Belongings”. Auditions will be held at the theater in Fayetteville at 7 p.m. each evening.

    July 21, 2014

  • asb carver 25 years and counting

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Taylor Made Free concert series

    The next free public concert in the Lively Family Amphitheater Summer Concert Series is a performance Saturday at 6 p.m. by popular band Taylor Made.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Energy Express open house set

    Energy Express, an award-winning summer reading program serving 35+ children in Fayette County, will host a free open house for members of the Beards Fork SALS community. The event takes place on Thursday, July 24, at 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

    July 17, 2014

  • rhody1.jpg Stages of life

    July 14, 2014 3 Photos

  • thurmond depot.jpg Explore town’s rail heritage

    Discover what life was like in one of the New River Gorge’s most renowned towns as you join National Park Service rangers and Operation Lifesaver on Saturday, July 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to explore the historic railroad town of Thurmond.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • apt bldg1.jpg Demolition and disposal

    July 10, 2014 3 Photos