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The Hinton News
Hinton, West Virginia
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July 3, 2012     The Hinton News
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July 3, 2012
 

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L/J II II The HIN NEWS (Continuing the Hinton Daily News &' The Weekend Leader) Home of "W. Va. Water Festival" Volume 110 No. 12 Hinton, West Virginia Tuesday July 3, 2012 =. ! 50 Cents i Wind ripped trees fell on homes and vehicles. Wind damage at the Sheppard's Care Worship Center on Stokes Drive in Avis. The Pivont home on James Street. Gutted, according to reports, Friday night by a candle that was left burning in the bathroom. By Fred Long It was an otherwise normal Friday evening. People were going about their normal activities: watching a favorite program on TV, checking e-mail, chatting on the phone. Women were in the kitchen cleaning up after a late dinner and children were playing with friends. All in all it was normal in all respects. But a rumbling like thd muffled sound of a train racing along the railroad tracks caught the ear as it quickly grew darker. Outside a huge dark cloud covered part of the sky and the lights inside began to flicker. Suddenly a roar of unusual strength filled the air with a cloud of dust and debris of all sorts spinnir, g every which way. A storm was coming and it was going to be a big one. Minutes later the lights went out. A wall of wind racing at speeds reaching upwards to 80 miles per hour ripped through the state toppling trees like toothpicks, severing power lines everywhere. Phones became inoperable and all electrical power came to a halt like in "Day the Earth Stood Still." But this wasn't a science fiction movie. It was still daylight outside and many ventured out to look for damage and some took to their cars to make a quick survey of the area. It was 7:55 p.m. here when the alarm struck and the few minute Rahall: Storm recovery underway, West Virginians remain diligent BECKLEY, W.Va. - Working with to having in surplus. it took for the storm to pass. It would be dark in an hour. The calm after the storm excited an uncanny sensation of isolation. No sound was audible while the absence of birds or any outdoor sound stretched the " nerves. The telephone was gone, the radio, TV, all communication with the outsid world gone. Only the sound of a passing motorist gave reassurance that you weren't the last person on earth. It was becoming dark and the gathering of flashlights and batteries became the priority and the hope that power would be restored in the morning. The storm left over 326,000 First Energy and its 10 company division customers in West Virginia without power. It had ripped through parts of Ohio, Maryland and Virginia too on ifs 700 mile flight to the Atlantic. Roughly half of its 1 million customers were without power, Saturday, when the cleanup efforts began with temperatures reaching 97 degrees and a heat index of 113. Tragedy struck Hinton with the death of former councilman Ed Hannah and a fire ravaged the home of Ruth Pivont, Hinton's only councilwoman; reportedly caused by a burning candle left in the bathroom. Trees had fallen on homes and automobiles, water plants without generators were shutting down and gas supplies were running low. The ARH Hospital had its emergency generator in full swing with its 72 hours of diesel fuel running and a supply on call if needed. The Summers Nursing and Rehabilitation Center also had a hours to replace a single pole.. Help generator that was keeping their in restoring the power is coming in patrons comfortable. First from Texas, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, responders were getting ready for South Dakota, Missouri, Alabama, the worse and First Energy was Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi and, mobilizing a work force exceeding Georgia. 4,000 employees and 1,400 " According to Steve Lipscomb, contractors that were dispatched director of the County Office of throughout West Virginia in areas  Emergency Management, Summers without power. With crews working around the clock on 16 h6tr-shfts, slowly, power was being restored. In Hinton all city emergency vehicles received gas from pumps at the Bus Garage on Front street where nearly five hours of manual labor by working hand pumps filled the tanks. Triangle One Stop supplied gas throughout the outage and Jarrell's Exxon until the tanks went dry when a shipment didn't make delivery on time. Go-Mart was up and running till Tuesday, but yesterday the pumps had gone dry while Jarrell's Exxon was back in business with a full supply of gas. By Sunday power had been restored in parts of Bellepoint and Avis and by mid-Monday power was back on in Hinton. Yesterday power was restore in the balance of Bellepoint but many outline areas of the county remain without power and some areas may not be restored until late Friday. Customers who have had power restored are asked to turn on their porch lights so that patrolling service technicians can better spot residences that are still without power in the neighborhood. In West Virginia, helicopters are being used to assist in the restoration of 67 transmission lines that were damaged from the storm. At least 500 poles were broken and thousands of spans of wire damaged. On average, it takes a crew of three or four people approximately four WV National Guard Activates Additional Personnel For Storm Cleanup the West Virginia National Guard, U.S. Rep. Nick J. Rahall (D-W.Va.) toured southern West Virginia communities on Monday and met with officials in County Emergency Operations Centers for briefings and damage assessments on areas hit by strong storms that swept through the region last Friday, and today issued the following statement: "Let us all hope this is a once in a lifetime attack from Mother Nature. The size and scope of this recent storm has certainly stymied the response mechanisms upon which we have traditionally relied. When coupled with the struggles involving power outages many families faced last winter after a wave of snow storms, the costs financially and emotionally mount up. "I am coordinating closely with Federal, State and local officials to get water moving to the most needy areas. ",It is our most essential staple and one we in West Virginia are used "After we are back up and running, I think it would be useful to explore how we might address vulnerabilities in the electric grid that increasingly serves as a lifeline for entire communities, as well as, giving thought to our emergency stockpiles and evacuation plans. Let's face it, the longer families are without power, the more volatile health issues become, especially in a sustained hot spell like this one. "Without everyone pitching in, sharing their time and talents and their homes, we wouldn't be doing half as well as we are. We still have a long road ahead, but we West Virginians deeply appreciate the help and generosity of friends old and new from all over the country." Helpful links to important information related to storm recovery operations can be found on Rahall's website at: http:// rahall.house.gov/press-release/ important-information-southern- west-virginians CHARLESTON, WV - Members of the West Virginia National Guard continue their efforts to aid in the aftermath of Friday night's derecho. An additional 150 Soldiers and Airmen were called to State Active Duty in the last 24 hours, bringing personnel numbers to 450. Approximately 400 WVNG members are deployed across the state helping clear debris from roadways and transporting fuel and generators to some of ,the state's critical infrastructure such as water ,treatment facilities, hospitals, nursing homes and cooling stations. "I have been travelling every day since the storm hit with the National Guard. These men and women are members of an unbelievably talented and compassionate group of Soldiers and Airmen," said Governor Earl Ray Tomblin. "The additional troops will continue to provide valuable assistance to seniors and families across the state.  In addition to fuel and power, Health and Wellness teams are going door-to-door in communities checking on West Virginia's citizens and identifying what their needs are. This enables emergency personnel to follow up with water, supplies and medical needs. National Guard members are also on the roads transporting water, generators, food and other needed items across the state. "Our Soldiers and Airmen continue to work hand-in-hand with the WV State Department of Highways and all other state agencies as well as with local authorities and community group," said Major Gen. James A. Hoyer, West Virginia Adjutant General. "Many of these employees are without power themselves but leave their home each day to bring relief to the citizens of West Virginia. Their level of commitment is amazing." County still had 4,800 homes without power as of yesterday. With temperatures still in the high 90s "the generosity and hospitality of friends and neighbors is needed," he said. "Although we hope to have service restored in most of the county over the next several days some parts of Summers County with more severe damage may take much longer. "With that said food donations are needed in the Summers County area. Nonperishable food items are best however other items may be acceptable. Serving trays and disposable utensils are also needed. Donations should be made to the Summers County Volunteer Fire Department, Station. 13, located next to Kirks Restaurant on the Hinton By-Pass. If you are unable to bring your items to Station 13 please take them to your local volunteer fire department for distribution. "At this time," Lipscomb continued, "Summers County emergency personnel and volunteers are serving 1,000 meals a day. This number is growing by about 30% each day. If you, your Church or organization can volunteer manpower or resources please call 304-466-3333." A boiled water advisory is in effect for the Big Bend PSD coverage area (Talcott/Hilldale) until further notice, he said. Cooling stations have "been established at the Summers County Senior Citizens Center in Hinton, the Talcott Fire Department, the County Memorial Building, Sheppard's Care Worship Center on Stokes Drive and the Summers County Middle School gym. The Senior Citizens center will be open today until 8 p.m. and on Friday until 10 p.n3. Further dates and times will be announced later. Sheppard's Care Worship Center is offering a cooling and food station and is open daily from 9 a.m. until 12 noon, then from 3 p.m. until no one is left to serve. The Middle School gym is opening daily from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. so people affected by the storm will have a place to bathe. Be sure to provide your own soap and towels. Southern Sanitation says if you are one of their customers and need to dispose of spoiled food, you can bring it to one of the two locations being located on Route 3 above the hospital next to the concrete plant or at their Green Sulphur office. All items must be in bags and you will be asked to present your customer number. The Sandstone, Talcott, Forest Hill, Pipestem, J.B./Nimitz and Summers County vol.unteer fire departments will have bottled water and ice as it becomes available. Food stations have also been set up at the Sandstone, Talcott, Forest Hill and Summers County Volunteer Fire Departments. Memorial Service Cancelled Because 0fthe power outage and the uncertainty of when tmwer will b fully restored the Memorial Service on July 7 for Korean War hero Virgil Adkins will be rescheduled to a later, not yet determined, date. Ar announcement will be made in this paper when a new date has beer selected. City Declares Two Businesses a Public Nuisance By Fred Long The City is refusing to issue a business license to two bars on lower 3rd Ave. saying because of the number of complaints and 911' calls to the area they have become a public nuisance. "We have a lot of convicted felons, sex offenders, a lot of drug users and drug dealers that lay in these two "bars on 3rd Ave., Lightners in the morning and Dannys in the evening," Hinton Chief Derek Snavely said. "If you're looking for drugs you're going to 3rd Ave. so that brings more riffraff down there and you've got Big 4 Drug Store right on the corner." Snavely said last year 911 dispatched 132 calls to lower 3rd Ave. "I would say 95% of the calls dealt with the patrons or the customers going in and out of these bars. And these people can't smoke in the bar so they get liquored up and go out on the city streets and the city sidewalks. When you get bunch of people that have beer drinking together and doing drug., it causes problems. We get callec there all the time." Aletter, he said, was also sent tc the Alcohol Beverage Contro Commissioner complaining abou the bars. They sent four people fron Charleston to meet with him anc Mayor Joe Blankenship. "The know what we are doing and supper what we gre doing," Blankenshil said. "The bars are definitely by code public nuisance and based on tha the city has decided not to issu them a city license. That will resul in the ABC not giving them a liquo: license and we hope to enact stronger city ordinance that wil curb this activity in the future, Snavelysaid. Business licenses were due fo renewal on July 1. Code Enforcement Officer Hired Mayor Joe Blankenship announced today that the City has hired David Madison as a code enforcement officer. City Manager Crls Meadows says the losition that Madison is filling will help to "maintain the beautification efforts of the town." Madison will be working in conjunction with City Hall and the Hinton Police Department to "more closely monitor consistent code Violations such as trash, debris grass and weeds, obtaining buildinl permits, condemned properties, am abandon vehicles, just to name few," said Mayor Joe Blankenship. This position is temporar: through October as a trial period, h, said. Anyone with complaints of cod, violations should continue to direc those concerns to City Hall at (304 466-3255. I i ; |