MASON COUNTY — “Fortunate. Very fortune.”
That is how Mason County survived the recent bout of bad weather that passed through West Virginia over the weekend, according to RC Faulk, deputy director of Emergency Management.
The storm system produced heavy rain, tornadoes, hail, flooding and death in its path eastward. Although Mason County did receive weather from that system it was no where near as devastating as what it was in other areas.
Beginning Friday evening Faulk said he began monitoring the weather surrounding Mason County and the local emergency management office was interfaced via a secured internet channel to the State Emergency Operations Center to be able to report issues as well as follow the situation with other counties. Faulk stated that Mason County was the first to file a status report.
“I am glad that the status reports that were submitted by me were reporting no major damage or issues,” Faulk stated.
However the same can not be said of other counties.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and State Emergency Director Jimmy Gianato toured damaged areas in Lincoln and Wayne counties it was reported and an emergency declaration was made. That allows state assets and resources to be deployed to the hardest hit areas to assist. Faulk states the national guard has deployed units to assist with cleanup and debris removal. There have also been requests for water and prepackaged meals.
In Mason County, Faulk says there was about 10 minutes of hard rain and some wind in the town of Mason that went as quick as it came.
“The rain lasted long enough to affect my satellite TV signal and was gone,” Faulk stated.
The 911 center also reported a similar story, stating the dispatchers on duty during the storm observed a few minutes of heavy rain and some wind. No damage has been reported from these events anywhere in the county at the time of writing this article.
Faulk went on to say: “At 9:30 p.m. that evening after the weather had subsided locally, I received a personal phone call from the operations director at the state emergency operations center checking on our counties status. I was glad to report all is well.”
Faulk also states after the local weather subsided he made contact with emergency management directors and surrounding county emergency operations centers in Jackson, Putnam and Meigs counties to offer assistance if they were in need of anything. Fortunately they were not in need “and everything was under control in those surrounding counties.”