Here is a picture of Nick & Sharon Johnson house after the Storm crashed a Walnut Tree on their house first camp in Delbarton, W.Va. The picture was submitted by Gary W. Davis, Sr. He said the tree is still on their home and their Electric Power will not be back on until Friday, July 06, 2012.
CHARLESTON -- Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin reports power crews are making progress in restoring power following Friday's severe storms. The governor continues to meet with state and local emergency management directors and local first responders around the state.
"Since Friday night I have witnessed firsthand West Virginia's true spirit of neighbor helping neighbor. Folks are coming together to help one another, and we are making progress, but it is going to take time. I ask for your continued patience," Tomblin said. "I'd like to personally thank the power companies, emergency personnel, the National Guard, and thousands of community volunteers who are working around the clock to help the people of the Mountain State."
Due to the progress, Tomblin requested all State of West Virginia employees to report to work today at their regular time unless they hear directly from a supervisor. For more information, state employees can call the state employee help line at 304-558-9117 or 1-800-558-9117.
For updates or a list of cooling stations from the governor's office, please visit the website at http://www.governor.wv.gov
Frontier Communications also issued a statement regarding scheduled service installations.
“During this time of recovery from the June 29 storm, Frontier Communications is delaying previously scheduled service installations to focus its resources on recovery efforts,” the company said in a press release. “For customers scheduled for service installations this week, please call 1-800-921-8101 to reschedule. Frontier continues to accept new service orders at 1-800-921-8101 but advises customers that installation will be scheduled after recovery work is complete.”
Frontier Communications reported several generators have been stolen from their facilities since Friday's storm.
The thefts have caused property damage and a loss of power, slowing storm recovery and negatively impacting Frontier's ability to operate its facilities during the ongoing emergency, said Dana Waldo, Frontier's senior vice president and general manager for West Virginia.
Frontier uses gasoline- and diesel-powered generators and batteries to power its networks when commercial power is unavailable.
"This level of lawlessness is remarkable during a statewide emergency," Waldo said. "These thefts create significant problems for us as we strive to provide service to customers who rely on their landline telephone."
Police are investigating the thefts, but anyone with information should notify Frontier's security department, 1-800-590-6605.
Southern West Virginians will remain without power for several days more than they expected after recovery efforts bogged down on Monday, according to a story by The Charleston Daily Mail, distributed to member newspapers by MCT Information Services.
A few county emergency officials expressed frustration with the state and federal response and with the Red Cross, the story said.
As 440,000 customers remained without power across the state, officials also turned their attention to senior citizens who rely on oxygen tanks to breathe. After days without power, tanks are running low or empty. Seniors cannot recharge the tanks without electricity.
But smaller oxygen tanks remained in short supply, so state officials encouraged oxygen users to head to local shelters to recharge their tanks.
"If they are having problems, their local county can help them get to a location where they can fill up," said state homeland security spokesman T.D. Lively.
Kanawha County Manager Jennifer Sayre said the county had fielded hundreds of calls about oxygen since Friday.
There were also fresh concerns about inmates in state jails that had either diminished water service or none at all. The jails included Mount Olive Correctional Complex in Fayette County, the Western Regional Jail in Cabell County and the Tygart Valley Regional Jail in Randolph County.
"They are not going to be forgotten," Lively said.
County officials vented frustration in a conference call with state officials on Monday.
William Rowan, Lewis County's emergency services director, complained a generator he requested on Saturday had yet to arrive.
"We had to go to New Jersey to get one because you all couldn't get us one," Rowan said.
There's also frustration with the Red Cross.
Kanawha County Emergency Services Coordinator Dale Petry said the Red Cross is much needed but has not been dependable.
"They might show up, but they disappear," he said.
Petry was not alone in making that complaint. Other local officials have complained about the group's response.
"We've heard a few concerns about Red Cross, but we know they are working very hard," Lively said.
The major problem is widespread power outages. About 440,000 customers remained without power and air conditioning on Monday.
Appalachian Power Co., which serves the southern half of West Virginia, had about 234,000 customers without power Monday night.
The company also said it would take days longer to restore power to people than it had expected.
"Based on our ongoing assessment, we are continuing to find additional damage to our facilities," Appalachian said in a statement.
The company said power would not be restored to all of Kanawha, Fayette, Roane, Clay, Raleigh, Nicholas and Wyoming counties until Sunday. The company had previously hoped to wrap up all repairs by Saturday night.
In Kanawha County alone, 61,000 customers remained without power Monday evening.
Worse, the number of Appalachian customers without power rose slightly on Monday from where it had been on Sunday, though it had fallen by evening.
The most recent AEP restoration estimates for West Virginia are:
Friday night, July 6: Greenbrier, McDowell, Mercer, Monroe, Putnam and Summers counties.
Saturday night, July 7: Boone, Cabell, Lincoln, Jackson, Logan, Mason, Mingo and Wayne counties.
Sunday night, July 8: Kanawha, Clay, Fayette, Nicholas, Raleigh, Roane and Wyoming counties.
The backslide had two main causes: First, another bout of storms hit parts of southern West Virginia on Sunday night.
Second, damage is worse than expected.
"A small part of the reason for longer estimates is that we had about 30,000 new outages," Appalachian spokeswoman Jeri Matheney said. "But the bigger reason is that the more we see, the worse it gets."
FirstEnergy, which serves the northern half of the state, continued to make progress and reported about 178,000 customers without power.
Citing such progress, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin asked state employees to report to work Tuesday at their regular time. He gave non-essential personnel the day off Monday.
Likewise, the Supreme Court said courts would be open Tuesday after being closed Monday.
--The state Department of Health and Human Resources issued a statewide boil water advisory for areas that had low water pressure, no water service or cloudy water. DHHR spokesman John Law said the warning didn't apply to water customers who had not had service problems.
--Officials across the state had established about 100 daytime cooling centers for people to use to escape heat, according to the Governor's Office. There were also nearly two dozen overnight shelters in the state.
--The state Department of Transportation said more than 70 secondary roads remained closed because of fallen trees or power lines but most major highways were open, The Associated Press reported.
--DHHR also warned residents to avoid eating spoiled food.
--The state Fire Marshal asked residents not to use electric generators in enclosed spaces.
--The Fire Marshal encouraged residents to attend public fireworks displays but to avoid setting off fireworks of their own. That's because emergency responders are busy enough as it is.
--Temperatures and weather remained a concern as hundreds of thousands remained without power. The National Weather Service expected temperatures to remain in the 90s this week. Likewise, there were chances for more thunderstorms.
--Telecommunications companies were also coping with the power outages.
Part of the problem is that towers rely on power. When the power is out, towers have back up batteries or require generators.
Those generators, in turn, need a reliable fuel supply.
WBOY-TV in Clarksburg went off the air on Monday because a generator powering a transmitter lost power.
An untold number of cellphone customers have lost or diminished service.
"We have deployed generators to a number of our cell sites and gotten them up and running," said nTelos spokesman Mike Minnis.
Minnis said the company had brought in fuel that should be sufficient to power the generators as long as power companies continue to make progress to restore power. He did not estimate how much service had been disrupted.
Likewise, AT&T said West Virginia customers might be having trouble.
"We do not provide customer numbers, but I can tell you this service disruption is impacting wireless services for customers across multiple states that were in the path of this weekend's violent storms that cut power to many homes and businesses," said AT&T spokeswoman Kate MacKinnon
--Gasoline supplies were expected to become less of a concern for motorists as power is restored. Gas stations with electric pumps and no power were idled after the storm. Because of that, stations with power have been swamped.
The trucks that provide gas to stations had a similar problem because terminals from which the trucks get gas also were without power. Fuel trucks bound for gas stations formed a long line Monday morning outside the Marathon gas terminal near the Kanawha River in Charleston. It, unlike other area terminals, had power.
(c) 2012 Charleston Daily Mail (Charleston, W.Va.)
Visit the Charleston Daily Mail (Charleston, W.Va.) at www.dailymail.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services.