A HancockCounty family, including two children is being treated at a local hospital for carbon monoxide poisoning after their power went out and they used a generator underneath an enclosed porch to provide
Emergency Management Director of HancockCounty, John Paul Jones said many residents are still in need of help.
”There are people right now currently without water, of course commercial power was out and their generator was doing a good job until it went. Yeah, its not just like you get a branch that falls off you get the root ball with the tree because everything is just drooped down. It’s just bad.”
Gov. Manchin surveyed the snow and ice damage by helicopter before meeting with Jones and other emergency officials from Northern Panhandle counties.
At a meeting in Wheeling, he reassured them the state is doing all it can to help their counties move forward.
”We are keeping our assets out. We are not pulling them out and waiting for the next storm we are keeping everything out right now. We have deployed all of our Guard. Is there someone out their without power
or medication that need it? We have all of our emergency services coordinating with every community emergency services,” said Manchin.
Manchin says more National Guardsmen are being deployed, bringing the total to 400.
On Friday, governor Manchin declared a state of emergency. Besides OhioCounty, Manchin also visited Marion, Jefferson, and Wetzel counties.
Many emergency officials expressed budget concerns with the threat of a new snow storm approaching. But Manchin said more help may soon be on the way.
”We are going to put in a national declaration with the Fed and ask the federal government for help. We did that and we prepared all of that paper work to go in from the storm in the Southern part of the state in December. Before we send that, we are going to hold that and put them together and ask for one, but I have told them not to make a decision because they might not get reimbursed. We are going to work with them to keep them whole,” said Manchin.
The weather is also causing concerns for the West Virginia Department of Transportation. Spokesman Brent Walker said the snow and ice removal is starting to add up.
”The conference call this morning we asked each highways district about salt supplies and everyone said they were in fine shape but as of February 4th we had used about 171,000 tons of salt. In terms of dollars, we
spent out of the $54,000,000 budget, about $39,000,000.”
The weather is forcing hundreds of schools across the state to close their doors. Manchin said a new bill that recently passed to give school districts more flexibility in their scheduling may help districts meet the state’s mandatory 180 school day requirements.
According to Allegheny Power, at the storm’s peak on Saturday afternoon, more than 270,000 people were without power in Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
In the Northern Panhandle, American Electric Power reported more than 8,000 people in Ohio and MarshallCounties lost power on Saturday.
AEP spokeswoman Carmen Prati-Miller said getting power restored to customers has been a challenge. She said AEP is keeping a close eye on a new storm that is expected to hit the area on Tuesday.
”The next storm you know if it what is in the forecast 3 to 6 inches of snow in the Ohio Valley on top of what we already have that is just more snow and weight on the trees and lines and it will be all over again.
"You don’t know where it is going to hit or something you can actually take care of before you know,” said Prati-Miller.
Prati added AEP has spent million of dollars in tree trimming efforts near power lines to help prevent outages during hazardous weather conditions.
Meanwhile, State emergency officials are monitoring potential flooding from the storms. The National Weather Service is collecting precipitation levels to create a model for potential flood zones along the Ohio and other rivers in the affected areas.