Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Land Hurricane

Things here in West Virginia are a little intense right now.

On Friday I got off of work at 3:00 and headed home to make a tasty dinner.  Instead, I took a seriously long nap and didn't wake up until almost 6:30!  Once I was up and adam though, I headed downstairs to start cooking.

Once downstairs, I noticed some dark clouds happening.  It's been seriously hot the last few days...Friday it hit somewhere around 104!  So I wasn't surprised to see a thunderstorm rolling in.  I decided to head upstairs and wait to cook until the storm was over, just in case the power went out.

When I got upstairs, I watched a pretty intense storm rush through...blowing shingles off my roof and trees were almost horizontal.  My power flickered several times, but it never really went off and the storm was over pretty quickly.

Photo Source: The Herald Dispatch
I had no idea how bad it had been.  From where I was, I had seen worse storms blow through.  But I am one of very very few people in the state who has power right now.  That storm had winds clocked at 89 mph and in Charleston it flipped a plane at the airport!  So many trees and power lines were uprooted and downed that around 640,000 people in West Virginia alone were without power.  

And are still without power...

My area was extremely lucky and kept power for the most part.  In Kanawha County, where my mom lives, most cities are without power, some blacked out completely.  It's trickling back on in some places, but at the moment the date to have power again isn't until Friday.  Some counties are going to experience or already are experiencing a water shortage due to a lack of power at the treatment plants.

Photo Source: The Herald Dispatch
On my way to work yesterday, there were people lined up forever trying to get gas.  A lot of people who live out are used to power outages and have backup generators.  The problem is they run on gas, and most of them are only meant to last a few days, so most people need the extra gas to power their homes until the power is back on.  Then a lot of people are traveling trying to escape the heat and find power so they need gas.  

The problem is that a lot of gas stations have no power...and no power means no gas.  The City of Dunbar in Kanawha County ran out of gas completely yesterday afternoon around 2:30pm, along with several places in South Charleston.  I know of one or two stations here that ran out, but luckily power has been restored to several places around here and the rush passed.  I was able to get gas earlier today thank goodness.


There is also currently an ice shortage.  I've seen lots of signs on stores who are out of ice.  And every hotel in the City of Huntington is completely booked for the week by people trying to escape the heat. 


Photo Source: The Herald Dispatch
This is what happened to the Riverfest Stage in St Albans, my hometown.  They were set up for the weekend, and the storm basically destroyed everything.  


There are still roughly 300,000 people without power, and the Governor and the President declared a state of emergency for West Virginia.  Heat shelters have been set up all over the place to get people out of the 100 degree weather, and help is being called in from everywhere.


My mom and brother are coming up to stay with me for a few days while the clean up is going on to get out of the heat.  I am beyond thankful for electricity right now.  Hopefully everyone gets theirs back way before the estimated date.

If you live or know someone who lives in West Virginia and are without power and need supplies, let them know that Barboursville has power for the most part.  We also have gas and ice at a few stores, so if you're in the area (or can get here) and need it, as of writing this, it's here.  I'll keep you updated of major changes on here as the week goes on.

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