Tucked away in a small room at the National Guard Armory in Kanawha County, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin got a briefing at the National Guard Command Center Wednesday morning on where things stand when it comes to Hurricane Sandy.
Flanking the governor were State Office of Emergency Services Director Jimmy Gianato and state Adjutant General James Hoyer. They were looking at big screen images of county emergency operation centers.
Tomblin was anxious to hear from Berkeley County.
“If someone could please, update me on conditions generally in the three Eastern Panhandle counties,” Tomblin said.
Berkeley County Emergency Services Director Steve Allen says things could have been much worse in his part of the state.
“The Potomac crested. It has not come out of its banks. It was well within action levels,” said Allen. “So we’re doing good there.”
But Berkeley County did have its share of scary moments.
“[Tuesday] evening we had approximately four water rescues where people tried to drive through standing water. I don’t know why they’d ever want to do that but they attempted to. It’s a good thing we had the high water vehicles from the National Guard with us and available,” according to Allen.
Meanwhile in Nicholas County the concern was heavy snow on top of roofs. Gianato updated the governor on a very serious situation.
“Summersville Manor that had a (roof) collapse last night. They’ve (70 plus residents) have been moved to a shelter,” said Gianato.
Meanwhile, Gianato wanted the school system to take precautions before students return to class.
“We’ve asked the Nicholas County Board of Education to go out and assess the structural integrity of the schools in those areas just to make sure we don’t have any issues there,” said Gianato.
Meanwhile, in the mountains, Gianato says they’ve finally been able to reach some of the hardest hit areas.
“In Tucker County, we’ve got a lot of resources that have moved in there since [Tuesday] night to help and get access to those folks.”
Some areas of Tucker County received up to three feet of snow. Thousands of FirstEnergy customers are still without power.
The governor thanked all the local emergency management officials for their hard work. He says they are a critical part of the recovery.