SEVERE WEATHER: Racine Volunteer Fire Department Helping Neighbors in Need

By: Katelyn Sykes Email
By: Katelyn Sykes Email

UPDATE 7/3/12 @ 6:15 p.m.
RACINE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Thousands of people in Boone County are in the same situation as so many others -- still struggling without electricity and water.

On Monday, learned power officials said it could take weeks to restore power in some areas of the county.

While folks are holding out hope for power to be restored quickly, volunteers are going around making sure everyone is OK. spent the day with the Racine Volunteer Fire Department, Tuesday, as they drove around the area looking to help those in need.

Norma Wasson is struggling to stay cool in this sweltering heat. She's one of just thousands with no power and no water.

But Tuesday, she's getting some help from the Racine Volunteer Fire Department -- enough to make her cry.

"To know that someone cares that much about us, I'm sorry. No one has been up here but the Racine Fire Department. Not no one," Wasson said.

The fire department brought her water.

The past several days, this department has been driving around the area making sure folks have what they need.

"We've been trying to go around the areas, help them, see who needs their oxygen tanks filled," Racine Volunteer Fire Chief Jackie Hayes said. "Bring them down, you know, getting them filled, taking them back up to the residences for them because some of them ain't got no transportation to get around."

Tuesday, they delivered water to Prenter -- a town hit hard by Friday's storms.

"We've got some people that are really old and some of them are young, but some of them are bed rest and they can't get out, so we'll go up there and check on them and see what their status is," Racine Volunteer Fire Lt. Jamie Smith said.

From water to filling oxygen tanks, to even cutting down trees blocking roadways -- those involved want to make sure residents are taken care of, and it doesn't go unnoticed.

"I'm ready to cry because never have we had anybody come around here and help us like this," Wasson said. "It's so super, wonderful and great of them men. I'd just like to hug them all and give them a big hug and kiss on the cheek."

The fire department's been getting donations of bottled water, which they've been handing out.

Fire officials said many folks in the area don't have phone service, so they're asking you to check on your neighbors.

The department is also acting as a cooling shelter. If so if you need a place to stay, firefighters say to come on down.

BOONE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- While crews work around the clock to restore power, one community is pleading for help.

Boone County was one of the hardest hit areas, and neighbors told they’re not getting the help they need.

It’s been a long weekend for Stacy Peters and her family. Just like thousands of others, she doesn’t have power in her home.

"We're one of the fortunate ones,” Peters said. “We have a pool, we have a generator, but a lot of these people have nothing. It makes you want to sit down and cry."

She said since Friday’s storms, her community of Prenter hasn’t received any help. Trees are left hanging on top of power lines, other lines are on the ground, and some are barely left hanging over the road.

"I know they have a job to do and they're down every where, but you know what? Send somebody down here to check on us. Or set a cooling center up here for us or see if we need water," Peters said.

Water is also a popular request in Boone County. Wharton set up a cooling center but there’s a bigger demand for water and ice, and it’s not being met.

"Ever since Saturday, we've had people, 40, 50, 60 people, waiting to get some relief and it's just not coming," said Carlos Jarvis of Wharton, W.Va.

Jarvis came down to cool off at the center but is now volunteering to keep it open 24-7.

He’s also worried and wondering about the lack of water.

"It's been very, very hot, and we're not getting any relief in the liquid form,” he said. “And people are in dire straights, really."

And frustrated after finding out there’s no way to know for sure when power will be restored.

"He said two weeks or longer but he said he's been to several counties and this road, Prenter Road, is the worst he's seen," Peters said.

Until then, folks are doing whatever they can to stay cool and hold out hope for help.

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