Authorities this week have confirmed two deaths in West Virginia related to the severe June 29 storm that knocked out power to nearly all customers in the region, including one death in Randolph County and one in Pocahontas County.
The Associated Press reported Friday that one death also occurred in Webster County following the June 29 storm. However, Richard Rose, the Emergency Manager of Webster County, denied any claims that a death was related to the storm.
Rose said Monday he spoke with Annette Keenan, hospital administrator for the Webster County Memorial Hospital, and she said none of the hospital records show a death related to the storm. The Webster County Sheriff's Department also denied any claims that a death occurred in the county because of the June 29 storm.
In Randolph County, Cpl. B.T. Pawelczyk with the Sheriff's Department confirmed 71-year-old Eloise Jane Dycus, of Gilman, died July 1 because of carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator at her home.
The Sheriff's Department attempted to complete a welfare check at the woman's home July 1 and found Dycus dead at the scene. Pawelczyk said family members and neighbors had called the department and expressed concern about Dycus' well-being following the storm, prompting the welfare check.
When police arrived at the home on School House Run Road, they first had to air it out because of a large buildup of carbon monoxide fumes caused by a generator. After inspection, police observed that Dycus had set up her generator in her garage and hooked it up to her main power breaker.
Neighbors told police Dycus had obtained fuel for her generator June 30 with the intention of keeping her freezer and refrigerator operational while the electricity was out after the storm. However, the generator was not properly ventilated. Carbon monoxide fumes built up and entered Dycus' home, killing the woman and her cocker spaniel, Sable.
Randolph County Emergency Medical Services and the Leading Creek Volunteer Fire Department also responded to Dycus' home to assist at the scene.
A death July 1 in Pocahontas County also was found to have ties to the June 29 storm.
James Martin, 65, of Marlinton, died at Pocahontas Memorial Hospital after suffering from a heat-related illness.
A representative with the Pocahontas County 911 Center reported Martin was performing storm cleanup work outside of his home June 30 when his heat-related illness began. Because the storm had eliminated electricity for the Marlinton area, Martin was unable to access an air-conditioned location to cool down.
When contacted because of the medical emergency, the Pocahontas County 911 Center dispatched the Marlinton EMS and Marlinton Volunteer Fire Department to transport Martin to PMH, where he later died.
The June 29 storm and subsequent storms left more than 680,000 customers without electricity across the state.
Some had to wait nearly two weeks to have their power restored.
Contact Anna Patrick by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.