MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Clean-up is underway in Monongalia County following a powerful storm that caused significant damage, ripping the roof off the facility that houses several social service agencies.
Hazel’s House of Hope took a direct hit from the storm Sunday night. Ron Justice, with Morgantown Community Resources, estimated 20,000 square feet. of the roof was torn off the former Ramada Inn.
“The primary area of damage is over the wing where the Bartlett House is located, primarily the fourth floor but it penetrated down through to the third and second floor,” Justice reported.
Once the roof was torn from the facility, the heavy rains poured into the building causing major water damage to the interior. According to Justice, early assessments found at least 50 rooms with some water damage.
When the storm hit, there were 30 people staying at the facility with Bartlett House, which offers emergency, temporary and permanent house opportunities for individuals experiencing homelessness. No one was injured and everyone was evacuated and then transported to a nearby hotel.
“It really was an example of the community coming together,” said Bartlett House Executive Director Keri DeMasi. “The board of education was kind enough to issue a bus to transport everybody over to the hotel last night.”
Representatives from the National Weather Service were also in Morgantown Monday morning collecting data and assessing damage in an effort to determine exactly what happened Sunday night.
“We did have some reports of people spotting funnel clouds, but we haven’t had any confirmation that a tornado touched down yet,” said Monongalia County Emergency Management Director Jim Smith.
Smith said the wind was strong enough that a tractor-trailer that had pulled off Interstate 68 to wait out the storm, was blown sideways across the highway. Smith also reported there was significant damage to the roof of Mona Supply, Co., a beer distribution warehouse in Sabraton.
Damage reports indicate the storm moved along Smithtown Road, over Scott Avenue, across I-68 and through the Sabraton and Dellslow communities.
“We can see a pretty good line where it went through,” said Smith.