JEFFREYM. REYNOLDS SPORTSEDITOR
July 10, 2012
HARDY, Ky. - Within a 10-day period, the Tug Valley area was bombarded with multiple storms that included high winds, lightening, hail and a down pouring of rain that resulted in mass electrical outages, along with numerous reported cases of property damage.
Sunday evening, straight-line winds that according to the National Weather Service reached speeds of 65 mph in some areas, left its mark on those homes located on Old Hardy Road off of Rt. 319 near Belfry, Ky., leaving behind the destruction of damaged vehicles, a home and outbuilding that occurred after a large Boxwood-Elder tree snapped during the storm.
Two vehicles at the residence located at 347 Old Hardy Road were listed as a total loss after the large tree fell onto them. One limb of the tree also went through the side panel and roof of an outbuilding situated on the property.
Pike County Fiscal Court District 6 road workers were hard at work in this vicinity Monday and Tuesday, as heavy equipment operators worked to cut and remove several trees from the roadway and creek bank. According to one worker, they have performed these same duties at approximately 20 sites in their district since June 29, when the first of the storms tore through the region. District 6 Magistrate Chris Harris and Road Foreman Danny Branham have been in close contact with the residents of their region, providing prompt assistance where needed.
Area auto-body repair shops, as well as home construction and commercial companies have been busier than normal, answering calls and providing estimates for repairs. Several homes throughout the Tug Valley area have reported shingles blown off of their roofs and other minor structural damage. One common problem that seemed to be experienced by numerous families was the loss of outdoor furniture, swing sets, garbage cans and mailboxes, to name a few, which were destroyed after they were turned over or blown away. Landscaping and gardens also took a direct hit during the high winds, rain and hail.
The 11-day heat wave that scorched the neighborhood broke records across the entire southern portion of the United States, with temperatures exceeding 100 degrees 6 of those days. The electrical outages in both West Virginia and Kentucky affected an accumulative total of well over 300,000 residents, with a few homes and businesses experiencing loss of power for eight days or longer. Cooling stations and shelters were set up to provide water and other needed supplies, as well as options for accommodations for those who had no alternative place to stay.
The West Virginia and Kentucky Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) are currently taking applications for families or individuals who receive assistance through the state’s food stamp program who were without electric and who lost groceries. Those fitting this criteria may qualify for additional benefits to assist in the cost of replacing the food items that perished. For more information, you may visit your local food stamp office or contact your assigned case worker.
Jerrod Fletcher, Mingo County Emergency Services Director, told the Daily News that drinking water is still available for anyone in the county who needs it, and can be picked up at the County Commission Garage located on 1st Avenue in Williamson.
“As far as I know, all homes within Mingo County have had their electric restored,” said Fletcher. “If there are any residents still without power, it’s a very small number.
“I want to say thank you to all Mingo Countians for their patience and understanding over the past week and a half,” said the emergency director. “We got the resources and supplies out into the communities as quickly as we could.
“As always, my hat is off to the members of the county commission and their employees who worked around the clock to make sure the concerns of our residents were addressed, and their needs were met.”
Fletcher asked that the public be reminded that the entire state remains under a boil water advisory until further notice, and said as soon as he was notified it was lifted, he would immediately get the information out to everyone.
“Mingo County has been through some very troubling times in the past, and these past few days has created many inconveniences, as well as financial burdens for those affected,” said Fletcher. “I’m thankful we live in an area where neighbors help neighbors and care about their welfare.
“We will bounce back from this like we have many times in the past; Mingo County is home to many resilient individuals and families who are fighters and survivors. It takes more than this to keep them down.”