Upshur County Still Keeping State of Emergency in Effect - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Upshur County Still Keeping State of Emergency in Effect

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BUCKHANNON -

People are still cleaning up, two weeks after a winter storm that caused widespread damage and power outages.

With bright sunshine and temperatures in the 50's on Thursday, it's easy to forget the winter storm that hit Upshur County. But two weeks later, it's still causing headaches for some residents.

"I know that it's still difficult for people in some of the remote areas of the county where they had some places close to four feet of snow, things are still tough we're trying to reach out to those people," said Jim Farry, Upshur County Office of Emergency Management Director.

Farry said the county's outage report is about 99 percent back online with a few isolated outages. The OEM is taking reports for structural and agricultural damage to give to FEMA. Farry said FEMA has not made an individual assistance disaster declaration for the state.

"The more people we can get to call in to give us that information in advance when FEMA does come in, that will accelerate the process if we have places where they can go and see what's happening instead of trying to drive down every road to see if they find something," Farry said.

County officials said crews are doing everything they can to restore power and remove tree limbs, but also add that patience can only last for so long.

"I just have a hard time accepting being without power for 12 to 16 days as acceptable. I'm one of those folks personally who was out for 12 days, and I'm no different than the rest of them," Farry said.

The Upshur County Commission decided Thursday to keep the State of Emergency in effect. Commissioner Donnie Tenney said a lot of the damage in the power lines was caused by age.

"A lot of these lines are older lines. There old steel lines, and a lot of poles are older ones and so possibly some rightaways need to be cleared back farther so there's a lot of different factors involved," said Tenney.

Upshur County officials are planning a future meeting with First Energy representatives to share their concerns about line maintenance.