MADISON – Power outages, lack of water, damaged homes and buildings, no gasoline or phone services were just some of the problems caused by Friday’s severe storms.
“It was pretty scary,” said Greg Dillon, a business owner on Main Street in downtown Madison.
Dillon was at his martial arts business when he heard the sound of crashing metal.
“We looked outside and the Ellis sign was ripped off the building next door and dangling on the power line above,” he said. “We thought it was going to hit our glass window and we hurried inside to the back and then it fell and crashed into the middle of the street.”
City crews were still cleaning debris from the streets on Monday. There will still reports of no phone service in Boone County, although most reported having power.
Other areas of the state were still without power on Monday. Power restoration is expected by Thursday night for Fayette, Jackson, Logan, Mason, Mingo, Raleigh and Wyoming counties, and Friday night for Cabell, Kanawha, McDowell, Mercer, Putnam, Summers and Wayne counties, according to Appalachian Power.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin continued to work with emergency management personnel around the state to assist in recovery and cleanup efforts following Friday evening’s severe storms. He said he has continued to meet with local first responders and surveying firsthand the damage around the state.
“I know the past few days have been very trying for folks across West Virginia, and unfortunately, the problems we are facing will not be resolved overnight,” Tomblin said. “I can assure you that our emergency management officials and power companies are working around the clock to get things cleaned up. I’d ask that all West Virginians continue to check on their friends and family, stay off the roads as much as possible, and most important, that everyone remain calm.”
Because of the continued power outages and the limited amount of gas stations currently operating due to a lack of power, the governor asked that only essential state employees to report on Monday.
Employees deemed to be providing essential services are those that are designated as such by their respective commissioners, directors, or secretaries; those who work in facilities open on a 24-hour basis; or those who provide services relating to the health, safety, and welfare of our citizens, the governor explained.
“For those employees not required to work Monday, they may report to work on Tuesday,” he said. “If those employees do not report, I request that they avoid unnecessary travel while our emergency crews and utility companies continue to aid our families and neighbors.”
For more information, state employees can call 304-558-9117 or 1-888-558-9117.
The governor said the state Department of Highways is now reporting all major roads are open, and utility companies are working diligently to restore power as soon as possible.
“Progress is being made every hour,” he said. “Current outages [as of Monday] are down to 493,000 West Virginias from our initial report of 688,000. The West Virginia National Guard has health and wellness assessment teams on the ground going door to door checking on those affected by the storms.”