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Region copes with widespread power outages in the wake of 'Frankenstorm'

October 30, 2012
By John Wickline - Bureau Chief , The Inter-Mountain

With "Frankenstorm" wreaking havoc among local villages, emergency crews

have been setting up shelters across central West Virginia to help residents

escape the monster storm's angry wrath.

Shelters have been opened the Elkins Fire Department, Camp Pioneer in Beverly,

Tyrand Ministries in Mill Creek and the Valley Head Volunteer Fire Department

in Randolph County. Another shelter will be opening at the Tygarts Valley Fire

Department in Dailey.

The Belington Volunteer Fire Department has been the only announced shelter to

open in Barbour County. In Upshur County, residents can go to the Chapel Hill

United Methodist Church in Buckhannon, the Banks District Volunteer Fire Department and

the Ellamore Volunteer Fire Department.

Thousands of customers across central West Virginia remain without power.

Nearly all of Randolph County is without power, according to Monongahela

Power. Upshur County has 8,065 customers without power, and Barbour County has

another 5,5,61 customers in the dark. Tucker County has 5,113 customers

without power, and Pocahontas County has 6,589 customers without power.

Others without power are Grant County (2,885), Hardy County (653), Lewis

County (2.295) and Pendleton County (572).

Mon Power spokesperson Patty Michael said the storm caused "catastrophic

damage" to the company's system, adding that customers should be prepared to

be without electricity for several days.

"We are looking at seven to 10 days, similar to the (June 29) derecho," she

said. "Despite additional resources, preliminary estimates indicate some

lengthy outages due to the magnitude of the storm."

In the meantime, local OEMs are doing what they can. Jim Wise, acting director of the Randolph County Office of Emergency Management, said his office is in the middle of harnessing additional resources via the West Virginia Army National Guard.

"I'm trying to get us some resources and manpower from the Army National Guard to help reach people who need breathing treatments because the ambulances we have can't get back to a lot of different places," Wise said. "We're working to set up a couple different stations (that will administer breathing treatments), and we're working with Davis Memorial Hospital on that."

Wise is encouraging residents to lend a hand to their neighbors.

"We're trying to promote, 'hey check on your neighbor,' and if you don't need to go out, don't go out. Stay inside."



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