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article imageWest Virginia buried by snow from Hurricane Sandy

By Greta McClain     Oct 31, 2012 in World
The rain has stopped and the flood waters have begun to recede in New York and New Jersey, but for those living in West Virginia, Hurricane Sandy is still wreaking havoc.
Sandy has dumped massive amounts of snow in the mountains of West Virginia and officials are saying 28 of the state's 55 counties have experienced significant snowfall. More than 190,000 homes and businesses remain without power.
Authorities were forced to close nearly 50 miles of Interstate 68 on either side of the West Virginia-Maryland state line on Tuesday due to blizzard conditions and numerous vehicles becoming stuck in the massive snowfall.
In Nicholas County WV, a county with a population of just over 26,000 residents, three homes, one apartment complex, a grocery store, two convenience stores, and a hardwood plant all fell victim to the heavy snows when their roofs collapsed. No injuries were reported according to WVNSTV.
According to The Weather Channel, at least 36 roads in West Virginia remain closed due to heavy snow, downed trees and flooding.
A wrecker responds to stuck vehicles on one West Virginia roadway.
A wrecker responds to stuck vehicles on one West Virginia roadway.
Alan Auglis
Snow estimates in some areas are as much as three feet, with snow continuing to fall in some areas. Richwood, W.V. reports having had 36" of snow so far. Quinwood and Snowshoe report 29" and 32" respectively. The average yearly snowfall in the state is just under 30 inches.
The Herald Dispatch reports there have been six confirmed deaths in West Virginia associated with Hurricane Sandy.
After visiting several areas and assessing the damage, West Virginia Governor Earl Tomblin said:
“It was absolutely heartbreaking to meet with folks who have had their homes and businesses destroyed by the storms. As I told each and every person I met with today, I'm doing everything within my power to help all those who have been affected by the storms. Tomorrow I will request a major federal disaster declaration, which if granted will bring additional federal assistance. We will continue working around the clock until all West Virginians are safe, our roads are open, and our utilities have been restored."
CNN iReporter Allison Vencel currently lives in Morgantown, WV, but she spent many years in Alaska. She compares the blizzard conditions in West Virginia to those she experienced during her time in Alaska, telling CNN:
"When they describe it in terms of it being a once-in-a-lifetime storm it sounds cliche, but it is exactly that. It was very much like an Alaskan blizzard. Absolutely the most unique storm situation I have ever seen. Just a monster."
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