FAIRLEA, W.Va. — The West Virginia State Fairgrounds are hoping to provide relief for those fleeing Hurricane Florence.
State Fair CEO Kelly Collins told MetroNews affiliate WJLS they are opening their property for those with campers and RV’s to park. Evacuees with horses are also welcome to use the State Fairgrounds’ stables.
“Our neighbors to the south and in the coastal states are in trouble. We wanted to offer our help and make sure they know that we’re here in case they need somewhere to go. Right now we have spaces for over 100 horses available and plenty of camping available as well.”
Assistance for those with horses is also coming from the West Virginia Department of Agriculture. Commissioner Kent Leonhardt announced Tuesday that entry requirements for animals coming into the Mountain State are being waved.
Normally, all equine entering the state are required to have a certificate of veterinary inspection issued in the last 30 days. They must also have a negative Coggins test (for equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) antibodies) taken within the past year.
“Two years ago, West Virginia needed help from surrounding states during a massive flood,” Leonhardt said. “It is our turn to open our doors for those in need.”
There will be no stalling fee for horses at the fairgrounds. Those looking to camp onsite are asked for $15 per night to cover utility hook ups. Collins added evacuees can stay as long as necessary.
“It’s not just during the storm but afterwards people may find that their barns have been destroyed or need some cleanup and they’ll need somewhere to store their horses for a while. We have an after hours number that if somebody in the middle of the night realizes that they need to get out we have some phone numbers available for them.”
The West Virginia State Fairgrounds are located off I-64 exit 169 in Greenbrier County. For more information and to make reservations, call 304-645-1090 during business hours and 304-667-5089 after hours.