Bend Area prepares for storm
by Nathan Jeffers
BEND AREA — Town officials from Mason and New Haven are preparing for the remnants of Hurricane Sandy and in so doing have postponed “Trick or Treat.”
Originally set for 6-7 p.m. tonight, Tuesday, Oct. 30, Mason Mayor Mindy Kearns and New Haven Mayor George Gibbs decided to reschedule “Trick or Treat” for 6-7 on Thursday, Nov. 1.
Gibbs and Kearns stated they talked with Chuck Blake, Director Mason County Emergency Management, in regards to emergency plans for the county and the weather conditions expected for Tuesday night when considering what to do regarding “Trick or Treat.” Kearns added since Governor Earl Ray Tomblin declared a state of emergency for the state of West Virginia on Monday afternoon, she and Gibbs felt they shouldn’t have children out the projected weather conditions.
Gibbs also stated he is staying in contact with Blake and keeping up to date on the conditions of the storm in order to be prepared for any needed emergency efforts.
Kearns also described Mason’s preparation efforts for the storm, stating town workers have been going around the community making sure drains were clear of leaves and other debris and will continue to do so. Kearns also stated they are encouraging Bend Area residents to be careful and take any other precautionary measures.
Another concern from this storm are potential power outages and Kearns also discussed Mason’s typical reaction to this problem, saying the fire department and town workers direct traffic as best they can since the traffic light near Walmart also goes out with Mason’s electricity.
Kearns also added the town is also prepared should the storm bring any snow to the Bend Area, saying the town’s snow plow is out and ready and treatments for the roads are ready to go if needed. Gibbs also stated New Haven was also prepared for potential snowfall, saying New Haven normally purchases salt for the roads during the summer when it’s cheaper and so they are prepared in ample time when winter comes. Gibbs also mentioned New Haven’s plans to get back-up generators, stating that this project is still in the works.
Attempts were made to contact the Town of Hartford regarding the same information and any changes to “Trick or Treat,” which were unsuccessful.
As well as local officials and workers doing their part to prepare Mason County residents, those with Appalachian Power have been working since Friday preparing for potential power outages, surely in attempts to avoid another situation following the June 29 derecho.
It was reported that a possible threat for Southern West Virginia counties could include heavy wet snow, as well as strong winds for other areas in their service area.
“This weather combination will likely cause a major power outage event for us and we are preparing by staging crews in various areas in West Virginia and Virginia,” said Phil Wright, vice president Distribution Operations for Appalachian Power. “At the same time, we encourage customers to have a plan in place for coping with extended, storm-related power outages.”
According to a press release, Appalachian Power also describes potential items emergency for emergency kits their customers should prepare, including flashlights and fresh batteries, battery-powered radios or televisions, candles, matches, or lighters, water for drinking and cooking, a portable heater (oil or gas), camping equipment such as sleeping bags, camp stoves, and lanterns, canned goods and a manual can opener and manufacturers’ instructions for power-operated equipment, such as a garage door.
Appalachian Power also said customers should have their cell phones charged, as well as having a mobile charge for their automobiles.
For more information about current power outages and being prepared for potential outages, visit www.appalachianpower.com.
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