Wetzel County Copes With Storm Aftereffects - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

Wetzel County Copes With Storm Aftereffects

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Wetzel County's seat, New Martinsville, took solid hits from the windstorm.  Lack of power closed all gas stations in Wetzel County Saturday, June 30th.  By Sunday, July 1st, three gas stations in New Martinsville with electric service had steady traffic as many Wetzel County residents sought gasoline for both cars and generators.

Lack of electric power service for days had one mother with an infant searching for supplies.  With electric power gone, one other commodity appeared nonexistent in town.  Kelly Wetzel, a mother with an infant, said, "I've been trying to find ice.  And, I've just been just going around to find formula for the baby, all the stores are closed."

She drove around and found baby formula at a drugstore.  Kelly passed a Dollar General store by, because of the fluorescent pink sign with a hand-drawn "frowny face" on the ice machine reading, "Sorry ice is sold out -- Management."  Her next stop was the Save-A-Lot supermarket.  In minutes she came back with the news.

"They're all out of ice too, so guess we're not gonna get any today." Kelly didn't think any other open store in town would have ice, either.

Wetzel County's emergency management center fielded requests like Kelly's from all over the county.  The director realizes people need ice to preserve food, but obtaining supplies in this situation will take time.

"We have some ice on stock, but most we going to have to request from Charleston, and distribute those through to the local fire departments," Ed Sapp, Wetzel County's Emergency Management Agency director said.   "So, when that's done, citizens can go to their local fire department and get that ice and water."

After Kelly explained her plight to Sapp -- within a short period of time, she received the assistance to ensure her infant's safety.  Even so, several Wetzel County Public Service Districts supplying water will remain a problem for days.

Sapp worries about the three PSDs which have no electricity to their pumps.  "In the Reader area, Hundred area, Pine Grove area, especially those three areas, try to conserve water until we can get those PSDs up and running," Sapp said.  He's hoping crews can connect auxiliary generators or restore power before water in the tanks runs out.


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