(07/17/2012)
By Alvin Engelke
alvinengelke@hotmail.com

The other day a county official in an adjoining county noted, "Why is there no news from Creston?" to which an answer was made, "There's lots of news from Creston; it's just that there is no way to communicate."

For some time now it has been hot and very dry with the drought conditions extending out to the Midwest. Locally pasture fields had turned brown and cattlemen were feeding livestock hay. Then on Friday, June 29 the sky got dark and there was a loud roaring wind that initially (at least at Creston) came from the north and then blew in every direction followed with a little rain. Later that evening there was a double rainbow and a pink color in the sky. The wind toppled trees on houses, across roadways and electric lines, on vehicles, pump jacks and one tree cut Bub Ferrell's house over in the Munday country completely in two landing on the couch where the two sons routinely watched tee vee. When the parents came home they panicked when the sons didn't answer their calls until a neighbor said, "They went out four wheeling."

The Cleo Basnett family residence lost most of the roof but it is now covered with tarpaulins. A large part of the Deel roof (metal) was peeled back and others including Dorothy Lynch, Ira J. Lynch, Sr. lost a few sheets of metal roof. At the Don Rhodes residence windows were blown or sucked out of the house. Other residences lost siding, etc.

Local residents, the road crews and others opened up the roads and local folks found that the damage was widespread -- from Cincinnati to Washington Dee Cee and beyond. With no electric on the lines the telephones quickly went dead and some telephone cables are still under large trees, smashed in the ground. As days went by telephone technicians charged the batteries at the telephone installation on the dePue straight.

Getting gasoline for travel or for generators & chain saws [to cut trees out of the way] became a problem although Ray Holbert at Brooksville & Chester Boggs at Elizabeth generally had fuel and generators to pump fuel.

It was noted that the storm was a wake up call to be prepared for the next one, either nature's fury or terrorist activity and no doubt the terrorists were watching and taking notes. In Creston some folks went around and checked on others, the Wirt Fire Dept. brought around water, the first with the message that it was complements of Beau Wriston [sorta like the Obamaphones] as he must have political aspirations. The Wirt Senior Citizens brought meals to those who wanted them and, after a time a large quantity of water, ice and MREs were brought to the Creston Community Building for those in need. Several volunteers assisted in handing out the emergency supplies.

According to reports, some of the big metal electric towers were toppled and thus power was out in Parkersburg, Clarksburg, Charleston as well as all local communities. A map was shown on the internet showing a large part of eastern United States as dark on a satellite photo. Electric repair crews were seen from Oklahoma, Missouri, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and some same Canadian workers. In the Creston area there were some Mexican employees and all those folks did a great job trying to repair the damage, find replacement poles, etc. Of course there is a "special thanks" to the federal bureaucrat or whomever required that utility workers could do nothing until paper work orders were in hand (like the rules that mine rescue workers cannot go save trapped miners until the federal man gets there -- there is blood on those folks hands). While paper work orders might have been fine in 'olden days' [to avoid injury to other workers] but with e-mail surely the government rules [or whomever's rules] could be modified to reflect today's technology. Some folks waited 13 days for the restoration of electricity.

With a "state of emergency" declared the road crews have been working overtime with the understanding that FEMA will reimburse the state. When the Calhoun crew was cleaning up debris on the Creston Flats the frenzy of the group all pulling at limbs in different directions reminded one of watching a group of ants trying to carry a morsel of food and all pulling in different directions. Wee Willie Watkins was in the middle of the group and he was working.

Cars with out of state plates and FEMA signs were running up and down the roads going hither and yon.

Because the computers were down some business places could only take cash and those who were out and about came across people who said they were from Washington Dee Cee, Charlotte, North Carolina, etc looking for ice, gasoline, generators, etc. One person connected with the state road noted they were contemplating using barriers to block access from the interstates if there was a mass exodus from the Washington area, especially those who might rob, plunder and steal.

W. Harrison Schenerlein IV spent the weekend visiting in Creston, listened to the roar of the wind, watched the trees blow and surveyed the destruction and said, "That was a bad storm." His little sister Rea is now gaining weight. His father attended some of the activities associated with the much hyped Greenbrier Classic golf game & learned that coal baron Jim Justice gave $1.8 million to the media darling golf player just to show [the purse was $900,000} and Earl Ray gave his buddy Jim $1.75 million of taxpayer dollars so state taxpayers, who apparently must be very flush, paid to enrichen the select few.

The local area has now received some good rains, lawns & gardens are growing and some mud puddles have tadpoles and new amphibian egg masses.

Donna Ferrell underwent surgery on Tuesday and Thursday after work her husband, Carl had a heart attack and was rushed to the hospital where a stint was inserted to open a blockage.

The big Creston ATV Poker Run is scheduled for Saturday, July 28. It should be fun route. There were lots of folks out over the weekend riding ATVs over the countryside including the Buckeye/Yellow Creek group of oil and gas men & women.

Attacks on conventional fuels continue from those who want to "fundamentally transform America" as more & more of the "green" companies that are funded by taxpayers flounder and fail. The U.S. Navy has been ordered to run their ships on biofuel that costs $26/gallon. That certainly should scare the nation's enemies!

CNX (the Standard Oil/Rockefeller company) is trying to lease property on Annamoriah Creek for $500/A for five years and a 1/8th net lease for all formations. They have an arrangement with Noble where Noble pays CNX $7,100/acre for the right to drill the Marcellus. Sounds like a good deal for someone so that the Rockefeller children will have shoes and better vegetables.

The price of local Pennsylvania grade crude is $87.83 with drip [condensate] fetching $79.50.


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