By Wendy Holdren
West Virginia National Guard members are still out across the state, aiding residents, assisting with cleanup and even setting up polling locations for those without electricity.
Nicholas County, still with more than 2,000 customers out of power, has needed much assistance from the National Guard after being pummeled with up to 6 feet of snow in some areas.
Shelters are still open at Richwood Food and Clothing Pantry and Summersville Baptist Church.
Nicholas County Emergency Operations Center employees continue to make sure residents have food and water.
Across the state, 13 National Guard Liaison Teams are assisting county Emergency Operation Centers; 40 additional Community Assessment Teams are out in the communities aiding citizens and determining their needs.
Cleanup efforts are under way in Nicholas, Tucker and Preston counties. The National Guard has provided 12 grader teams, 12 loader dump teams and eight chainsaw teams to assist with clearing roadways and fallen trees. Two search and extraction teams are in Nicholas and Randolph counties.
“Gov. Tomblin continues to stress to us that our No. 1 priority right now is to continue our mission of taking care of West Virginia,” said Maj. Gen. James A. Hoyer, West Virginia adjutant general. “We continue to work hand-in-hand with our colleagues from FEMA, other state agencies and local emergency officials to restore the state and its residents back to normal.”
Although Election Day will be different from normal for many, National Guard members are assisting Nicholas, Barbour and Tucker counties with tents so residents can still cast their votes at temporary polling sites.
Each tent comes with a generator to provide electricity, heat and light for the voters.
“We view this duty as very important for the people of West Virginia,” Hoyer said. “The great thing is that we are able to accomplish this mission without affecting our current operations in providing support and relief around the state from the storm.”
The National Guard is on standby to assist with more polling places if needed.
Appalachian Power has fully restored power to customers in Raleigh and Wyoming counties. Just over 400 customers were still without electricity in Fayette County as of 6 p.m. Monday.
Election Day is expected to be clear with temperatures reaching the low 50s, according to meteorologist Andrew Beavers with the National Weather Service in Charles-ton.
A nor’easter storm is expected to hit midweek, but Beavers said southern West Virginia will only receive a touch of rain as it passes through Wednesday.
Beavers said temperatures will be in the low 30s Thursday morning, but no snow is expected from the storm. Thursday and Friday should be clear and temperatures will warm for the weekend.
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