Soaked by Sandy

 No area damage reported from ‘superstorm’


Spirit Staff

CHARLES TOWN – That gust you might be feeling today is as much the remnant of 1,000-mile wide superstorm Sandy as it is the sigh of relief that much of Jefferson County escaped relatively unscathed.

Sandy, which some dubbed a “Frankenstorm,” built into one of the largest Atlantic storms ever seen when a Category 1 hurricane moved up the East Coast from the Caribbean where it slammed into a powerful cold-air jet stream moving south from Canada. The storms sustained winds measured at 60 miles per hour in some places with gusts of more than 90 miles per hour. The storm is reported to have caused at least 18 deaths throughout the nation as of Tuesday. It also did massive damage to Atlantic City, N.J. and New York City, where much of Lower Manhattan’s financial district was completely flooded along with road and subway tunnels.

Officials at the Jefferson County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management say that there are no reports of major damage to infrastructure.

The department has issued evacuations recommendations to about 200 households along the Opequon Creek, however, due to the possibility of flooding.

Major rainfall did cause many rivers to rise past their flood stage. The most serious flooding is expected on the Opequon, where the National Weather Service projects the creek to crest at 14 feet, four feet above the cutoff for flood stage. The NWS also projects  the Shenandoah to rise to more than 11 feet at Millville, a foot above its flood stage, and the Potomac to rise to 19.4 feet, almost a foot-and-a-half above its flood stage.

Rivers are expected to crest Wednesday afternoon and evening.

The counter-clockwise rotation of Sandy also sucked cold air from Canada down into West Virginia, causing blizzard conditions in mountainous regions of the state.

Beckley had already seen 12 inches of snow on Monday night, with projections that the town could see another one to two feet before the storm subsides.

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