For those who did not have an alternative source of heat, the American Red Cross set up a temporary shelter at the National Guard Armory near Point Pleasant. The shelter originally was set up at the former Central Elementary School gymnasium but had to be relocated because of a power outage. Prior to setting up the shelter at the Armory, residents were directed to the 911 Center.
Point Pleasant residents Mike Hoover and Kathy Allen took advantage of the temporary shelter by bringing their family to the facility. According to Hoover, the family of nine had been without power since early Wednesday evening.
“We came because of my elderly mom and the little one,” Allen said, adding that if it weren’t for their newborn baby and her mother, they may have not been quite as concerned about the lack of electricity.
According to Allen, the family waited without electricity for an hour before deciding to seek refuge at the temporary shelter. The family went to the Central gym as well as the 911 Center before settling in at the Armory.
Hoover described the current state of the county’s power outages as being in bad shape but said conditions were not nearly as bad as the ice storm of 2003, which severely affected the area.
“This compares nothing to the ice storm (of 2003),” Hoover said.
Although Hoover and Allen said they wished they could be in their home with heat, they both agreed that the temporary shelter was a good place to be in order to stay warm. In fact, Allen encouraged those with small children to take advantage of the shelter.
“I know a few out there that have newborn kids and might not be aware (of the shelter),” she said.
Sgt. 1st Class Maston, who serves as manager at the Armory, said he received several calls about setting up a temporary shelter prior to the American Red Cross coming in Wednesday.
“Within an hour, I had people showing up,” he said of the shelter being established, adding that 38 people took advantage of the warm facility Wednesday night.
Maston also said the Armory can comfortably house up to 100 people, and he said officials from the Mason County Health Department had been by and approved all the standards by which the facility was operating.
In addition, local officials are encouraging residents to take proper precautions when handling food that has been stored in refrigerators or freezers that have been without power for extended periods of time.