UPDATE 11/12/12 @ 11:35 a.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Two weeks after Superstorm Sandy, about 3,000 West Virginia homes and businesses remain without power.
FirstEnergy's website showed Monday that about 750 of those customers are homes are in Randolph County. Another 600 customers are still without power in Preston County, while about 400 are waiting for power in Tucker County.
The storm dumped more than 2 feet of snow on some of the highest elevations in the state, toppling trees and tearing down electrical lines.
At the height of Sandy, more than one-quarter million customers in West Virginia had no power.
The Sunshine Freewill Baptist Church along James River Road in Huntington will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday.
They will offer residents a dry, warm place to spend the day, along with food and a place to charge their portable devices.
They do not have sleeping facilities, so the shelter will close in the evening.
Church officials say they will wait to see how long the power is out to determine how many days the shelter will remain open.
Some of them are finding relief in shelters set up across the state but others are toughing it out at home.
George Carden is a lot warmer, Wednesday, then he was Tuesday.
"Our house is so cold,” Carden said. “We have no electric and haven't had it for several days. We just had to do something. It's absolutely unbearable."
Carden lives in Ordinance Park in Saint Albans and lost power, Wednesday morning. This entire neighborhood is in the dark after those storms leaving many out in the cold. But Carden and his three children are finding some relief at the Hansford Senior Center, a shelter set up to help those without power.
'We would rather be at home then be here but too cold to be at home right now," he said.
Matthew Hundley also lives in Ordinance Park and is staying home, but with no power.
"It's been pretty rough but we're making it,” said Hundley. “But it's a lot better than a lot of people have it I guess."
Hundley’s using a kerosene heater inside to help keep warm. He’s no stranger to power outages either. The derecho in June kept him in the dark for several days.
"We only went two days this time last time we went two weeks,” he said. “So it was a little bit better than last time I guess."
Now Carden and Hundley are left waiting on power companies who are working around the clock to turn on the lights.
Kanawha County leaders said about 35 people stayed in shelters across the county, Tuesday night. They’ll remain open until they’re no longer needed.
He was at the shelter set up at the Kanawha City Rec Center after the derecho in late June, and he’s back now after his power went out during the winter storm.
"'Cause there's a lot of people that don't have no power," Vaught said. "I know how it feels to be cold; it's not fun."
And he says that’s better than the alternative of staying at home, sitting in the dark and struggling to stay warm.
"It's not that bad, really," Vaught said. "I mean, its mind over matter. I mean, you've got to do what you've got to do for right now until you can get back home, you know."
Other shelters are open, too.
"To stay the night, get out of the cold, eat a warm meal," said Aaron Goldfarb of the Salvation Army.
The Salvation Army on the West Side hasn’t opened up its doors as an emergency shelter in years, but they know that’s why they need to be here now.
"And so we're ready to meet the needs whatever that is, if we can open up our building, if we can serve some food -- that's how we serve our community," Goldfarb said.
It doesn’t matter if you’re staying for the night or are just hungry, they’ve got you covered from the elements.
"This is really what we do -- we help the community -- and we're ready," Goldfarb said.
These shelters will be open tonight. If you are relocating to one of these shelters, emergency officials recommend you bring:
* Prescription and emergency medication
* Extra clothing
* Hygiene supplies
* Flashlight with extra batteries
* Small board games
* Books for entertainment
* Specialty snacks and juices for those with dietary
* Basic snacks
* Baby food and formula
* Beach chair or camp chair
* Identification - including license or photo ID
* Insurance papers
* Other comfort items
Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.
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