Under normal circumstances, the lack of utilities is the catalyst for an uncomfortable situation. Couple this unfortunate factor with temperatures nearing 100 degrees, and you have a recipe for disaster. As unbelievable as it sounds, this was our reality.
On June 29, a powerful wind storm swept through our county, leaving a trail of debris and many without electricity. While the majority of us had our power restored within a matter of days, others waited nearly a week. So, in fine "Tyler County" fashion, people from all corners of our community at-large sprung into action.
From the born-here natives to the recent transplants, folks joined in the effort to keep their neighbors healthy and cool during a difficult time, despite their own hardships.
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As West Virginians, we are often portrayed in a negative light, making us the punch-line of many jokes. But our reaction to the "state of emergency" was no laughing matter.
While outsiders view us as backwoods hicks, we view ourselves with a sense of justifiable pride in our Mountain State heritage - a heritage gives us an inherent sense of independence and self-reliance, while fostering a sense solidarity as one culture.
While crews from FirstEnergy Corp and their subcontractors were hard at work during the power restoration process, friends, neighbors, volunteers, law enforcement officers, firemen, EMTs and others were busy behind the scenes ensuring all Tyler County residents were safe and sound.
We owe a debt of gratitude to so many people, but for now we will simply say, "Thank you, Tyler County."
Thank you for overcoming the obstacles placed in your way this past week. Thank you for demonstrating such class in the wake of the storm. Thank you for coming together as a community, for the sake of your neighbors. This county was truly blessed with some of the most compassionate and resilient folks in the world.