POMEROY — With about 6,000 households in Meigs County still without electricity, American Electric Power continues to work on restoring power and the Meigs County Emergency Management Agency continues its role in assisting local organizations as they provide cooling stations and shelters where lodging and food are provided.
EMA Director Bob Byer reported Tuesday that both cooling stations and shelters will remain open until the emergency has passed. He encouraged residents, especially the elderly and handicapped to take advantage of the services being offered. Byer said that his agency is mainly coordinating the shelter operations.
Cooling stations are at the Rutland and Racine Fire Departments, at the Riverbend Arts Council on Second Street in Middleport, and at Middleport Village Hall. Shelters where overnight lodging and food is available are at the Mulberry Community Center, Heath Methodist Church in Middleport, Syracuse Community Center, the Methodist Church in Racine, and the Nazarene Church in Syracuse. It was also noted that the Red Cross has set up a shelter in the Family Life Center in Middleport.
Byer praised the organizations and churches that have stepped up to assist by opening their doors, and the businesses which have contributed food and other supplies.
“The latest emergency involves the water supply,” said Byer. He reported that a truckload of bottled water from FEMA is expected to arrive at any time and will be distributed around the county as needed.
He also said that Pomeroy firetrucks have begun hauling water into the Lincoln Hill area in Pomeroy for bathroom use. Paul Helman, Pomeroy village administrator, advised him that the electric pumping system on Lincoln Hill which is running on a generator is not adequate for the water needs of the residents in that area now. Other areas in need of water, according to the EMA director, are in the Bashan-Portland area and Olive Township.
Byer also reported that fire department personnel are moving around checking on people in areas where power is still out. He also mentioned that there has been no restoration of electricity in the Reedsville area. Hundreds of trees came down in the storm and numerous homes were damaged, several beyond repair, in the 80-85 mile an hour winds, he said.
He expressed his concern for the elderly and handicapped and those using medical devices and encouraged them to take advantage of the services being provided at the cooling stations which will remain open until the crisis passes.
Firemen and others are assisting those without transportation to the cooling sites where volunteers are preparing food. Signs mark the cooling sites.
At the Mulberry Community Center, Jenni Dunham is handling the overnight shelter program. She expressed concern that many people who need help are not getting the message that help is available. “Most of those coming are older or on oxygen, or just have no tolerance for the heat,” she said, adding that” if necessary transportation to the Center can be arranged simply by calling there.