UPDATE: Gov. Tomblin Tours Storm-Ravaged Nicholas County, W.Va.

By: Cathleen Moxley, Alex Snyder Email
By: Cathleen Moxley, Alex Snyder Email

UPDATE 10/31/12 @ 9:40 p.m.
NICHOLAS COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ & AP) -- Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., hit the road Wednesday to check out some of the most devastated regions in West Virginia hit by Superstorm Sandy.

"Well, you're seeing a lot of as you get higher up in the area, especially in Nicholas County here, are hit much harder," Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said.

The Office of Emergency Management in Nicholas County said some areas received more than 5 feet of snow.

West Virginia officials also have confirmed a sixth death caused by Superstorm Sandy. The state medical examiner previously had confirmed five deaths caused by the storm, which dumped more than 2 feet of snow on many parts of the state.

"Basically, we've got the National Guard in here working, several crews, there will be more in here tomorrow to help go door-to-door to make sure people are OK," Tomblin said.

Because right now there are people emergency crews can’t reach because some roads are still impassable.

"Hopefully, from all accounts right now, people are still safe and we want them to stay safe," Manchin said.

And one of the priorities is to make sure that people can get their heat and lights turned back on.

"We're just working with the power companies to make sure they get the power back on as soon as possible," Tomblin said.

But, in the meantime, some people will just have to sit and wait.

"I just ask people to be patient as we move through this process," Tomblin said. "Everyone is doing all they can to make sure that we do get the power back on and get life back to normal as quickly as possible."

UPDATE 10/31/12 @ 6:50 p.m.
NICHOLAS COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The weight of the snow in Nicholas County was too much to handle for the roofs of eight different structures.

“They came back and told us it was a mandatory evacuation because of the structure,” Wayne Griffith, who lives at Summersville Manor Apartments, said. “We had like two minutes. They wanted us out of here.”

As his apartment complex was evacuated early Wednesday morning, Griffith didn’t even enough time to grab what his children need.

Wednesday afternoon, while the West Virginia National Guard assessed the damage, Griffith was able to gather up a few essential items.

Fortunately, none of the actual apartments were damaged.

“It puts us at ease, but as we pulled up we were prepared,” said Walter Hatfield with the U.S. Army. “We have a doctor here with us as well today, so if we did find any casualties -- we'll have support.”

This isn't a one stop ordeal. Emergency 911 dispatchers say roofs also collapsed at two U-Save convenience stores, a Foodland, a building at Collins Hardware and three houses.

“We're concerned that with a roof collapse and building collapse, there might be victims stuck inside. So our hope and concern is for them, that if they are stuck -- we'll be able to pull them out,” said Rob Warren with the U.S. Air Force.

Along with different branches of the military, other emergency crews have been out all day assessing the damage, making sure nobody was inside the buildings and that nobody was hurt

There's no word yet which buildings can be salvaged and which are destroyed.

As of Wednesday night, there was still more than a foot of snow in Nicholas County. Many who do have roofs over their heads don’t have power.

NICHOLAS COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Eight buildings have collapsed due to the storm that ripped through the region, Monday into Tuesday.

911 dispatchers in Nicholas County say three homes, an apartment complex and four businesses have all collapsed.

Summersville Manor, an apartment complex, was evacuated -- leaving 72 people without a home. Nobody was injured and they have all moved into shelters.

The businesses that collapsed include U-Save in Summersville, U-Save in Craigsville, Collins Hardware in Craigsville and Foodland in Craigsville.

Dispatchers say some of these buildings can't be accessed by emergency crews because downed trees and power lines are blocking the roads.

They also say they're anticipating more buildings to come down. Extra emergency help has been requested.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.

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