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►  WV remembers Superstorm Sandy five years later

Five years ago this week, residents of much of West Virginia were digging out from Superstorm Sandy.

“Just a beyond normal winter storm obviously,” said Nicholas County OES Director Shawn Wolford, who worked in Greenbrier County at the time. “You might expect something like that later in the season, but you’re not really planning and preparing for the end of October for that much snow and that heavy snow.”

Sandy first moved into West Virginia during the weekend of October 27, 2012.

By October 30, the storm was taking down thousands of trees and power lines while putting down several feet of heavy, wet snow in some areas as moisture from the hurricane system met colder temperatures to create blizzard conditions.

In some of the central Mountain State counties, more than 80 percent of residents did not have power.

“We had to open up temporary warming stations for people that maybe didn’t have heat or power,” Wolford said. “We had some generator problems at our tower sites, so we had to get up on top of the mountain in three and a half foot of snow.”

In some parts of West Virginia, residents went two weeks without power. In central West Virginia, some counties saw 80 percent or more of their residents At times, assistance for trapped people was being provided via air.

Four deaths were attributed to the storm either directly or indirectly, according to state records.

Initially, a Federal Disaster Declaration for public assistance was issued for 18 counties: Barbour, Boone, Braxton, Clay, Fayette, Kanawha, Lewis, Nicholas, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Preston, Raleigh, Randolph, Taylor, Tucker, Upshur, Webster and Wyoming.

Sandy hit West Virginia the same year as the Derecho.

“Derecho was in the summer and then of course Sandy hit in the fall, so we had two whammies back-to-back almost,” Wolford said.

Though Sandy hit West Virginia as a snowstorm, early on October 29, 2012 the storm made landfall northeast of Atlantic City, N.J. as a post-tropical cyclone which packed hurricane-force winds.

Major to record storm surge was reported along the entire New Jersey coast which hit at the time of astronomical high tide.

Parts of New York City were flooded.

--> Monday, October 30, 2017
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