While more than 3,600 Mon Power customers in Upshur County remained without electricity Tuesday following last week's hit from Superstorm Sandy, a mission group is making sure they don't go without food.
The Virginia Baptist Mission's disaster services team has set up shop at the Wayside Baptist Church on Brushy Fork Road, preparing hot meals to be transported to the various shelters set up in the county.
The mission team, which is based out of Richmond, has been preparing about 4,500 meals daily. It has the capability to cook as many as 7,000.
The Inter-Mountain photo by John Wickline
Susan Suiter, a member of the Virginia Baptist Mission’s disaster services team, pours a hot meal of chicken and dumplings into a portable storage container Tuesday. The group has provided hot meals to those staying in emergency shelters becasue of storm-related power outages following Superstorm Sandy.
"When the calls came to Richmond, we thought we would be heading to New York," Jackie Howell said. "But they told us we were needed in West Virginia. They decide (in Richmond) where we are needed the most."
The team has been both living and working at the church, where members welcomed the workers and tried to make them comfortable.
"Everybody brings an inflatable bed," Howell said. "The church lets us house ourselves in the Sunday School rooms."
Electrical service is supposed to be fully restored to Upshur County at some point this week. Local Office of Emergency Management officials have praised the work of the state highway department and the National Guard for clearing debris to allow Mon Power crews access to the fallen wires.
The roads have been cleared for small vehicle traffic, but OEM Director Jim Farry said motorists may have places where they have to zigzag around downed wires and trees.
Shelters were operating at the Chapel Hill United Methodist Church in Buckhannon and the Ellamore Volunteer Fire Department, with a feeding and warming station in Rock Cave.
A boil-water advisory remained in effect for the Elkins Road Public Service District and for Adrian Public Service District customers who lost water service in the storm's aftermath.