(08/02/2012)
By Kathy Wood
Calhoun OES/911 Director

June 29, 2012 is not likely to be a day to be forgotten anytime soon. West Virginia experienced a wind storm that registered 78 mph, leaving devastation across our county.

It was Friday movie night at our house, when we noticed it was suddenly dark. Of course the first thing you do is go outside, which wasn't such a good idea.

I looked to the western sky and said to my husband, "Oh my gosh, I'll be working this weekend." Little did I know I wasn't kidding. At 6 a.m. Saturday a dispatcher Wally called and said Homeland Security has a telephone conference at 7 a.m. Wally asked, "How soon can you be here?"

It didn't take long, considering we had no electric, so the shower was not an option. Jacob and Jerry were taking care of the conference call when I arrived at the center.

I called WV Emergency Operations Center, and started asking for water. I didn't know how bad the situation was at this time, and I definitely did not know how horribly long we would be without electric.

The first people I called - our Volunteer Fire Departments. I would hate to think how we would have survived without our firemen and their families.

I quickly discovered this was to big for us, so in came the National Guardsmen. I was so relieved to get these guys, Sgt. Miller took lots of the workload. We looked at our map and selected the most secluded areas and sent food and water.

Everyone worked around the clock and no one complained.

I am very grateful to be the Emergency Manager for such a great community.

I would like to thank everyone for their hard work during the storm. Lots of people are thanking me and all I did was get the supplies and call on the right people to help.

I could not have done this job without the help of our volunteers, with a special thanks to our volunteer fire departments, the WV Army National Guard, our dispatchers, Calhoun EMS, Arnoldsburg and Upper West Fork Parks.

Also Momma T's, Pit Stop, Gino's and The Y Restaurant for feeding our soldiers. Foodland, Speedy Mart, Bakers Mart, the Millstone Inn and Holberts for distributing ice.

And to the families that volunteered distributing water and food and doing well-being checks. Fred Waybright for handling all the calls by himself that first night. I'm sure it was a record breaking amount for us.

I appreciate all the hard work of everyone that volunteered. Thank you all for being their for Calhoun.

Kathryn Wood
Calhoun County 911/OES Director


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