West Virginians have always been noted for being a proud people that come together in the face of a natural disaster. Last week, the citizens of our state were once again put to the test when a storm called a “derecho” rolled through the state, knocking out power to over 90% of West Virginians. To make matters worse, temperatures were at record highs, with most days exceeding 100 degrees. What happened next would be surprising in most parts of the country, but was pleasantly expected here. People came together. Food drives were organized, cooling stations were set up, neighbors with power offered a place in their homes to friends and family without, and people went to work repairing the damage so that life could return to normal.
The morning after the storm, Karen Kane, a reporter for The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, was traveling through the state with her family on return from vacation. Nearly becoming stranded due to gas stations being offline, Karen and her family’s trip was made a little easier by the good citizens of West Virginia who readily offered assistance. Her account of the wonderful hospitality afforded her by the residents of our state can be read here.
It has been over a week since the storm rolled through, and power has been restored to most parts of the state. Damage assessments are continuing and life is returning to normal. There is one critical pace where we can all still help. The Mountaineer Food Bank and the Huntington Area Food Bank were hit hard by the lack of power and the large influx of people needing food. Many of our fellow citizens depend on these food banks as a means of sustenance. Let’s rally together on this need in a big way and be sure to continue assisting our fellow citizens by donating food to help those in need. Thank you.