Tornado Watch for 17 Counties

The Gilmer Free Press

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for 17 West Virginia counties until 9:00 PM Tuesday.

The counties include: Boone, Cabell, Calhoun, Clay, Jackson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, Mingo, Pleasants, Putnam, Ritchie, Roane, Wayne, Wirt and Wood.

A tornado watch means conditions are favorable for heavy thunderstorms which could contain tornadoes.

Winter Kills, or Does It?

Last winter, many readers wrote to ask how wildlife could survive the frigid polar vortices. According to Pennsylvania Game Commission press secretary Travis Lau, the only documented wildlife casualties in Pennsylvania were about 165 mergansers and other waterfowl at Presque Isle Bay and Conneaut Lake in late winter. With most open water frozen, competition among waterfowl was intense.

PGC wildlife biologist Tom Hardisky worried that the cold winter might affect reproduction.

“But we have not had a chance to measure that yet,” he said.

Paul Johansen, assistant chief of game management, reports similar findings from West Virginia.

“I’m not aware that last winter’s weather took a particularly hard toll on any wildlife, although we did receive some isolated reports of winter mortality in deer in selected counties,” he said. “I think most species did just fine, and we expect a good hunting season.”

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Fortunately, most wildlife species are well adapted to surviving extreme winter weather.

Fish slow down their metabolism and physical activity during winter, but they don’t mind how cold the air temperature gets. Because ice is less dense than liquid water, it floats so water never drops below freezing.

Reptiles and amphibians sleep through the winter season in dens beneath the frost line where their heart and respiration rates drop significantly. Aquatic species burrow into the muck to escape frigid air temperatures. And wood frogs can actually survive being frozen solid while hibernating beneath the leaf litter.

Most birds take the easy way out to escape winter weather. They migrate.

Non-migratory species are well adapted to survive winter. They eat high calorie seeds, nuts and animal fat to fuel their metabolic furnaces. They grow more down feathers to increase the body’s ability to insulate itself. And on the coldest days they hunker down to minimize their exposure to cold and wind.

Among mammals, ground hogs, bears, chipmunks and jumping mice hibernate. Shrews and weasels stay active by using tunnels and trails in the subnivia, the microhabitat where snow cover meets the surface of the ground.

Muskrats and beavers build lodges with underwater entrances. Even when ponds freeze and are covered with snow, these rodents can slip freely into the water to feed on aquatic vegetation (muskrats) or the bark of limbs and branches (beavers) they’ve stored under the ice. Though muskrats are limited to wetlands or stream banks with sufficient water to cover their den entrances, beavers can manipulate their habitat by building dams to create ponds where food is available.

Gray, fox and red squirrels fatten up in the fall and store caches of food they use throughout the winter. On days when the thermometer barely climbs above zero, they wisely stay in their dens.

Flying squirrels are much smaller than tree squirrels, so they lose body heat more rapidly than their larger kin. To reduce heat loss, they roost communally during the day. Sometimes a dozen or more flyers cuddle during daylight hours before venturing out at night to eat.

It turns out that cuddling is an effective technique for reducing heat loss and staying warm. Deer mice and bluebirds roost communally in hollow logs and old woodpecker cavities. Even tiny golden-crowned kinglets huddle through the night in the north woods, protected only by the branches of conifers.

Though most medium-sized mammals such as raccoons, skunks, opossums and foxes do not hibernate, like squirrels, they can hole up for days if need be. As long as these species enter the winter in good health, they can survive all but the most catastrophic winter conditions.

Severe winters can be problematic for white-tailed deer. Where deep snow is normal, deer often move to winter ranges where cover is better. These “deer yards” are typically in dense lowland conifer forests where there’s less snow, and winds and temperatures are moderated. Food quality in these areas is poorer so deer must rely more on stored fat. But that’s OK because even healthy deer normally lose about 25 percent of their body weight over winter.

~~  Dr. Scott Shalaway - 2222 Fish Ridge Road, Cameron, WV 26033 ~~

Fall Allergy Forecast: Ragweed to Plague Southeast, Northeast to Breathe Easier

The Gilmer Free Press

AccuWeather reports allergy sufferers in the Southeast could be in for a groggy fall, as warm and wet months ahead will promote mold spore growth and prolong ragweed season.

Historically, the peak of allergy season for the South falls around September19, with the four to five weeks before and after that date typically producing the worst of fall allergies.

“We’re expecting some above-normal temperatures and wetness there for September and October,“ Meteorologist Alan Reppert said.

Both temperature and precipitation play a role in the severity of the allergy season.

Warmth can extend the growing season for plants that produce ragweed pollen. Meanwhile, the wet weather is a double-edged sword.

Moisture can weigh down pollen, keeping it on the ground instead of in the air, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. However, dampness will make the environment more conducive to mold growth.

Portions of the Northeast and Midwest will get a breath of fresh air this year as an early freeze could kill weeds and bring an end to the ragweed season as soon as mid-September.

“There could be a significant shot of chilly air that comes across the Great Lakes region and into the interior Northeast sometime in mid- to late-September,“ Lead Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok said in the 2014 Fall Forecast.

The cold shot may also make mold spores dormant, ending the threat early. Typically, mold peaks through early October, as it thrives on damp fall foliage.

“As far as the Plains go, we’re looking at wetter-than-normal conditions in September and October,“ Reppert said.

This could keep the mold spore concentration high.

Allergens will settle down by October in the region, however, as freezes begin to occur and a snowfall is in the offing.

Indoor Threats As the seasonal chill sets in, those sensitive to fall allergies often head inside for relief. However, seasonal allergens can lurk within the home, as well.

Dust mites are the main culprit and are nearly impossible to eliminate completely.

Allergists advise those with dust mite sensitivities to use HEPA filters in air heating and cooling vents to prevent the aggravation of indoor allergies. The filters will also help to eliminate pollen that has settled indoors from open windows over the summer months.

Fall 2014: Polar Vortex to Visit Northeast; South at Risk for Tropical Hit

AccuWeather reports as fall 2014 takes form, no relief is in sight from the historic drought and the raging wildfires in the West.

While the West undergoes another period of heat and dryness, the Southwest, South and Texas will experience a soggy end to 2014. For the Northeast, blasts of winterlike air will arrive early this fall, serving as a reminder of last winter’s brutality.

As wild weather unfolds across the nation, the tropics will also ramp up, putting the eastern coast of the United States at the highest risk for a direct impact.

Polar vortex to return early in the Northeast

While the fall will kick off with days of sunshine and temperatures above normal in some of the region’s largest cities, including New York City and Philadelphia, the polar vortex may make its return for short, sporadic periods in September.

“The vortex could slip at times, maybe even briefly in September for the Northeast,” AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok said. “There could be a significant shot of chilly air that comes across the Great Lakes region and into the interior Northeast sometime in mid- to late-September.”

As conditions in northern Canada begin to set up similar to last fall, getting colder and unsettled quickly, it is likely that this pattern could become a source for colder air to make its way down at times into the United States, inducing a drop in temperatures for the interior Northeast during mid-fall.

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“Temperatures will not be as extreme in November when compared to last year, but October could be an extreme month,” Pastelok said.

After short-lived days of the polar vortex in September, the weather should turn a bit warmer in November as rain ramps up across areas from New York City to Boston and Portland, Maine, as well as the rest of the region.

“We will see some dry weather in the Northeast, barring any tropical systems, in September and October but in November it will get wet,” Pastelok said.

Following a soaking November for Northeastern residents, El Nino will make its debut early this winter, fueling early winter snow across the area.

“December could get kind of wild due to the very active southern jet stream that is going to provide the moisture for bigger snowstorms,” Pastelok said. “The Northeast could have a couple of big storms in December and early January.”

Winterlike Cold, Snow to Blast Plains to RockiesUnlike the Northeast, the trend for the northern Plains and northeastern Rockies will sway more winterlike, as early snow and cold air blast the area this fall.

“October could be a month of snow and cold weather across the northern Plains and in parts of the northeast Rockies,” Pastelok said.

While it’s not uncommon for this area of the country to receive snowfall in the fall, areas from Bismarck, North Dakota, to Miles City, Montana, will be more vulnerable this fall to an increased number of snowstorms.

Aside from the snow, temperatures are expected to be near or below normal for most of the region with some parts of the southern Rockies experiencing temperatures 2 to 4 F below normal.

“Some areas of the southern Rockies will start out in a hole 2 to 4 degrees below normal and never recover from that,” Pastelok said. “The northern Rockies and the Plains will get colder as the season goes on.”

As the cold grips areas from the Colorado Rockies to the Sierra, the cold may even expand southward into the central Plains and portions of the Midwest, including Chicago and Milwaukee and Green Bay, Wisconsin.

While the cold and snowy weather will create ideal early-season conditions for ski resorts and avid winter athletes in the eastern Rockies, Colorado, those in the western Rockies, the Sierra, will not be as lucky.

“The dryness in the West is going to hamper any early significant snowfall in the western Rockies from Lake Tahoe to Bend, Oregon,” Pastelok said.

Severe storms, flooding to unfold across the South

With the heart of hurricane season in the early fall, September is predicted to be an active month in the Atlantic.

“We are looking at a low number count for the tropics in the Atlantic, but we may have a couple more storms on the way,” Pastelok said. “We’ve seen September in past years as an active month during past El Nino years, so don’t count the season out yet.”

As the Southeast coast, from Florida up through North Carolina, is most susceptible for a direct impact from a tropical system this fall, areas farther north, including Boston and New York City, could experience rain from a tropical system as well.

“September is an active month and there could be some impacts, especially from Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, down through Daytona Beach, Florida,” Pastelok said.

Regardless of tropical activity this season, the Southeast will feel the effects of El Nino with an increase in stormy weather and rain.

Areas from New Orleans to Jackson, Mississippi, and Atlanta will see above-normal rainfall for the season, while areas closer to the southeastern coastline such as Pensacola, Florida, will likely break both daily and perhaps even yearly rainfall records this fall due to the immense amount of rain that fell during spring.

Likely to drench the region further, a busy secondary severe weather season may transpire late in the fall from mid-October to November across portions of the South.

Based on the weather patterns so far this summer, the lower Mississippi Valley and the Gulf Coast, specifically the central and western Gulf Coast, will be most vulnerable for a late severe weather season, according to Pastelok.

Generating strong and even tornadic thunderstorms, the fall’s secondary severe weather season can prompt heavy rain, damaging winds and produce flash flooding.

“We’ve seen in past years like 2009, 2004 and 2002, years with patterns similar to this year, that there have been several tornadoes that have broken out during the fall season,” Pastelok said. “Back in 2004, there were over 150 tornadoes that broke out in the month of November.”

Among the highest risks for autumn severe weather in late October and November are some of the Southeast’s major metropolitan cities, including New Orleans, Jackson, Mississippi, and Little Rock, Arkansas.

“Some smaller risk in November may also be in the mid-Atlantic and parts of the lower Northeast, including Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and even New York City,” Pastelok said.

Battle to ensue between flooding and drought relief in the Southwest, Texas

Following periods of extreme heat and dryness this summer, the onset of El Nino this fall will supply moisture for communities in the Southwest and Texas.

“We are looking at an increasing wet period for areas like the Four Corners region, New Mexico and southern Arizona, with that wetness working its way gradually into Texas,” Pastelok said.

Amid drought in most of New Mexico and Arizona, as well as northwestern Texas, the much-needed autumn rain will help improve drought conditions.

“All places in Texas will get wet at some point over the course of the fall season, probably lasting into the winter season, too,” Pastelok stated. “In fact, we may see some places get four or five months in a row of above-normal rainfall.”

While the rain may be welcomed in drought-stricken communities, heavy rain falling over extremely dry terrain over short periods of time could prove to be dangerous and detrimental.

“When you go from dry conditions to heavy rains and monsoons, the rain can cause mudslides and major flooding,” Pastelok said.

Western drought to hold, wildfire threat to persist

Following the driest year on record and a parched summer for the Golden State of California, the fall season will not provide any drought relief for the region.

With a weak El Nino predicted this year, it is likely that the state will not receive enough rainfall to break the ongoing drought.

“We’ve noticed that weak El Ninos don’t always bring beneficial rains to southern California,” Pastelok said. “They probably are not going to get enough rain at this point to deal with the drought; they will get some but not nearly enough.”

As the drought holds in southern California, from Los Angeles through San Diego, northern California will also have some water troubles.

“Northern California will have a tough time,” Pastelok said. “Fronts will tend to weaken heading into the West Coast so they might not get the full blast of moisture.”

The Northwest region will also remain fairly dry this fall due to the split of the jet stream, a byproduct of El Nino.

“We may see a split jet stream where one jet goes way up into western Canada and that will leave dryness across the Pacific Northwest compared to normal,” Pastelok said.

Expected to be warmer than normal this fall, the weather pattern will yield no assistance to the wildfire threat in the Northwest.

“From Portland, or just east of Portland, over the Cascades to Spokane on southward, temperatures will be 2 to 4 degrees above normal for the three-month fall average,” Pastelok said.

As the summer heat and dry weather sparked multiple blazing fires across the Northwest, burning thousands of acres, forcing hundreds to evacuate and ruining tens of homes, the region will have to wait a little while longer for the fire danger to subside.

“There will be some relief but it is going to be a gradual transformation, so it’s going to take some time,” Pastelok said. “The fire danger is going to still be severe into the early fall.”

Rain Gauge Volunteer for Gilmer County

Wes-Mon-Ty Resource Conservation & Development Project

Receives Grant Funds for Weather Data Collection

The Gilmer Free Press
Don Bailey, Rain Gauge Volunteer and Jane Collins,
Soil Conservation Supervisor for Gilmer County

West Virginia’s topography causes dramatic variability of the state’s weather and climate. The rapid changes in elevation cause variations in temperature and precipitation, in an otherwise small geographical area.

Wes-Mon-Ty Resource Conservation & Development Project (WesMonTy RC&D), a local non-profit organization which supports projects that promote the wise use of natural resources received a grant from the West Virginia Conservation Agency.

Grant funds are being used to increase volunteer weather observation and recordkeeping throughout WesMonTy RC&D’s twelve county area.

Don Bailey, a resident/residents of Normantown, WV has been participating in this weather monitoring project.

He is one of several volunteers from Gilmer County and surrounding counties which were provided a rain gauge, evapotranspiration gauge, and offered instructional training.

Each time a rain, hail or snow storm crosses our area, volunteers take measurements of precipitation from the rain gauge and evapotranspiration gauge.

The rain gauges will measure all precipitation including rainfall, hail, and snowfall amounts, and the evapotranspiration gauge simulates the amount of water lost from the soil and vegetation.

These precipitation and evapotranspiration reports are then recorded daily on the website

The data are then displayed and organized for many end users to analyze and apply to daily situations ranging from drought analysis and severe storm warnings to neighbors comparing how much rain fell in their backyards.

Historic Preservation Grants Available in West Virginia

The Gilmer Free Press

Applications are still being accepted for historic preservation disaster relief grants following Superstorm Sandy.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History’s State Historic Preservation Office says applications must be postmarked by July 15, 2014.

About $173,000 is being made available for these grants.

The funding from the National Park Service is aimed at providing technical assistance and emergency repairs to historic and archaeological resources in counties that were declared emergencies and affected by the 2012 storm.

Those counties are Barbour, Boone, Braxton, Clay, Fayette, Kanawha, Lewis, Nicholas, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Preston, Raleigh, Randolph, Taylor, Tucker, Upshur, Webster and Wyoming.

Eligible projects include the restoration, rehabilitation, or archaeological development of historic sites listed in the National Register of Historic Places that were adversely affected by the storm.

Cows Killed in Lightning Strike in West Virginia

The Gilmer Free Press

A Putnam County farmer said nine of his cows were killed Tuesday evening during a lightning storm.

The storm moved through the Red House Hill area.

The cows had gathered under a tree and lightning hit the tree, sending the current through the cows and to the ground.

The National Weather investigated several lightning strikes from Tuesday’s storm.

G-Eye™: 06.13.14

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Storm down the power line in the driveway in this house

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Power was out from 10:40 PM to 3:00 PM the following day

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The hot wires burned the grass in the yard during this period
Something needs fixing there, it seems, doesn’t it?

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Storm Damage at Glenville Golf Course

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Senator pledges to preserve consumer protections during transition

Senator Jay Rockefeller, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, is working to make sure communications systems keep West Virginians safe and connected during emergencies like the 2012 derecho.

Rockefeller this week sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) which requested a study on how the communications sector will guarantee the resiliency and reliability of the nation’s communications networks as they transition to more advanced technologies. The Senator is also pledging to make sure consumers are protected during the transition, and that their access to emergency communications services is not compromised.

Specifically, Rockefeller asked GAO to study how the nation’s communications networks – which continue to transition to an Internet Protocol (IP) environment – can be rapidly restored after a natural or man-made disaster. He sent the letter along with Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR), chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications, Internet and Technology, and Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), chairman of the Subcommittee on Science and Space.

“During times of emergencies, effective communications before, during, and after the incident can drastically alter the outcome of that incident. Yet, as proven during Superstorm Sandy, the Boston Marathon bombings, and other emergencies, communication networks can be brought down by congestion as friends and families flood lines in search of loved ones. Furthermore, the loss of communications facilities could have cascading impacts on other key critical infrastructure sectors due to interdependencies between the sectors,“ the Senators wrote in the letter. “Therefore it is important that the nation’s communications networks and systems are resilient and rapidly restored after a natural or man-made disaster. We are interested in knowing how the communications sector will ensure the reliability of the nation’s communications networks in an IP-environment.“

Following the Senators’ letter, the Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications, Internet and Technology today held a hearing examining the public safety implications of the nation’s evolving communications networks and how best to preserve consumer access to those networks while providing life-saving information during and after emergencies. In a statement for the record, Rockefeller noted the importance of making sure new networks provide consumers with the same level of service and reliability.


•  For many Americans, voice communications technology is transitioning from copper to fiber-based transmission, circuit switched to IP-based protocols, and wired to wireless communications. These “technology transitions” promise to revolutionize the way we communicate. But, as the nation’s networks continue to evolve from these legacy systems to all IP networks, it is critical to have a better understanding of their functionality, especially in times of natural or man-made emergency.

Rockefeller’s prepared remarks for the hearing are included below:


Statement for the Record – Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, Chairman

Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet

Hearing on the “Preserving Public Safety and Network Reliability in the IP Transition”

June 05, 2014

Public safety has been a key part of communications policy since the passage of the Communications Act over 80 years ago. And this commitment to public safety and network reliability must remain paramount no matter what makes up the underlying architecture or technology of our communications networks. We know our Nation’s communications are evolving, and I am optimistic about the future, but let me be clear: during this transition, we must make sure that consumer protections are not reduced in any way. Whether young or old, rich or poor, urban or rural, no consumer should be left behind by changing technology.

As the nation moves away from traditional copper-based architectures and circuit-switched technologies, we must understand how new technologies and services will perform in disaster and emergency situations.  For public safety, the migration to next generation technologies and protocols brings new communications capabilities, improvements in network redundancy, targeted public safety alerts, and greater monitoring for problems in the network.  It is also true that no technology is immune to the impacts of disaster.  I saw this firsthand when the derecho wreaked havoc on communications networks in West Virginia two years ago.  But given that hundreds of millions of calls are made to 9-1-1 each year, there must be a renewed focus on making sure that communications networks are ready when disaster strikes.

That renewed focus must carry over into the FCC’s thinking about the evolution of our nation’s communications networks.  If conducted carefully and transparently, the FCC’s planned IP transition trials will help the nation understand the true impact of the IP transition on public safety and consumers.  I support the FCC’s deliberate approach to these trials, and its efforts to make sure that the new networks provide the same level of service and reliability as the old.

Similarly, we cannot forget that state regulators play an important and essential role in overseeing the functioning of communications networks.  The Communications Act enshrined a system of dual authority that recognized that state regulators are often “on the ground” and know better than Washington whether communications companies are living up to their commitments to consumers and public safety in their state.  I believe this robust regulatory system should be preserved in the transition.

I want to thank Senator Pryor for holding this important and timely hearing, and I look forward to the testimony from our witnesses and to their perspectives on preserving public safety and network reliability with the IP transition.

Heavy Rains Creating Weekend Woes at State Parks’ Trails

The Gilmer Free Press

Heavy rains over the past two days and rising water levels have caused problems at some West Virginia state parks that may disrupt weekend plans.

Tygart Lake Marina opened today but has met with flooding and rising water, according to Paul Redford, district administrator for West Virginia State parks.

“The Boston Beanery Restaurant and the Tygart Lake Foundation each has a Facebook page and is posting conditions, so guests will be aware,“ Redford said. “As soon as the water begins to recede, the summer season will be in full swing at Tygart Lake.“

Two other parks reporting water effects are Blennerhassett Island and the Greenbrier River Trail.

Blennerhassett Island is in the middle of the Ohio River and river conditions are high. The Blennerhassett Island Foundation is posting current information to its Facebook page. A Breakfast Cruise set for Saturday, May 17, has been cancelled.

“We hate that water conditions cause event cancellations. We were totally booked for the Breakfast Cruise,“ said Blennerhassett Superintendent Matt Baker. “We monitor river conditions and will make decisions about opening the island this weekend. The Foundation is good about posting current information on Facebook. Call the park office at 304.420.4800 for information.“

The Greenbrier River Trail has several slips along the trail. One slip at MP 66 at Sharps Tunnel is blocking the trail for about 200 feet. “

The trail between Seebert and Marlinton is a mess,“ said Trail Superintendent Jody Spencer.  Spencer, volunteers, and a contractor are assessing the situation and working on access. Friends of the Greenbrier River Trail are posting current conditions on Facebook.

Redford says conditions will return to normal quickly as water levels begin to recede at these areas. Trail work will be slower due to moving mud and debris. Visitors are encouraged to call 800.CALL.WVA and asking for the park by name or to call the parks directly. Park phone numbers are on the website at

Current conditions also can be found at

Greenbrier River Trail

Blennerhassett Island, 304.420.4800

Tygart Lake, 304.265.6144

FEMA and NOAA: Floods Happen Everywhere; Be Prepared

The Gilmer Free Press

Millions of Americans are affected each spring by sudden flooding caused by heavy rain or by slower, prolonged flooding as snow melts.

Be prepared, and get insured, urges The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

“Floods are the most common and costliest natural disaster in the nation,” said David Miller, associate administrator of the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration at FEMA. “Floods can affect just about anyone anywhere. Having a flood insurance policy and emergency plan in place can keep you and your loved ones safe and resilient if a flood occurs.”

With an increasing threat of flooding in the weeks ahead, NOAA’s National Weather Service will be monitoring river and stream levels and any additional precipitation to issue forecasts and alerts for areas prone to flooding. In the upper Midwest and Northeast, above-average snow pack, frozen ground and thick ice coverage on streams and rivers will elevate the threat of flooding, which will vary depending on the rate of snow and ice melt and additional rainfall. Take a closer look at NOAA’s spring flood risk.

Follow these tips to prepare for and stay safe during a flood:

Know your risk. Determine your flood risk and research weather predictions for your area. Community officials can talk to you about your community’s flood history and the measures they’re taking to reduce the impact of a future flood.

Get insured. You can buy a flood insurance policy from your insurance agent or find an agent at It typically takes 30 days for a flood insurance policy to go into effect, so don’t delay.

Take Action. Sign up for weather alerts, use a weather radio, and monitor local forecasts at so you have time to act. Visit to learn about public safety alerts. Get to a safe place when a flood is imminent. During flooding, never drive through a flooded roadway. Turn Around Don’t Drown.

Be an Example. Technology today makes it easier than ever to be a good example and to share the steps you took to become weather-ready. When you get to a safe place, share the weather alerts you used and steps taken with your friends and family. Find more tips at on how to get involved and be an example in your area.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards. .

GSC Softball Game for Today at Fairmont State Cancelled

The Gilmer Free Press

The Glenville State softball game at Fairmont State that was scheduled for Saturday, March 29, 2014 has been cancelled due to weather.

The game will be rescheduled at a later date.


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Gilmer, WV;  Wood, WV;  Pleasants, WV;  Tyler, WV; Roane, WV;  Wirt, WV;  Calhoun, WV;  Ritchie, WV; Doddridge, WV; Clay, WV;  Braxton, WV; Lewis, WV;  Harrison, WV






Barbour County: Month of Instruction Lost to Weather

The Gilmer Free Press

A West Virginia school superintendent forced to cancel classes 22 times this year because of weather said he’s unsure next year’s school calendar changes will improve instruction.

Barbour County Superintendent Joe Super said all the cancellation days created by ice and snow this year have been no-doubters.

“There has been no question and actually there have been a couple of days we’ve been in session that probably we should have been shut down,” Super said.

Barbour County currently has eight days built into its school calendar and plans to use them later this year. Super hopes the county can come with 14 of the required 180 instructional days.

Next year, a new state law extends dates and allows school systems to make up have classes until June 30. Super said Monday he is not sure how beneficial that will be simply because after the Westest—the state’s standardized test—it typically becomes more difficult to get students to concentrate.

The Westest falls during the last week of April this year in Barbour County.

“After the Westest what good is it?” Super asked of makeup days. “I know we have great professionals that will do the best they possibly can with our students, working with them, but it’s still a tough task.

“The good weather comes in, your spring sports start to come into play–kids’ minds are elsewhere.”

Barbour County principals have had to adjust plans this winter on how their staffs will prepare students for the Westest.

Spring Has Sprung 2014


The Vernal Equinox, otherwise know as Spring, occurs when the sun crosses directly over the equator as the earth is tilted neither toward or away from the sun.

It was officially ushered in at 12:57 PM EDT Thursday afternoon.

The beginning of Spring also signifies many things:

——Spring Cleaning

——Spring Planting

——New Year’s Day in Iran - Eide-NoRuz

——Blossoming Trees, Shrubs, and Flowers

——Butterflies, Birds, and Bees

——Pollen and Allergies

——Spring Sports


——Spring Breaks

——and a Whole Lot More!


Have a Happy Spring 2014

Lambs tails swinging on the willow
in the breeze and warming sun

Bare brown branches growing buds
for birds to place their feet upon

Twittering sparrows search to pair
the swan already has his love affair

The mad March hare will prance and dance
with wild abandon and not a care

Farmers plough, works, churning
and scarecrows new cloaks a warning

All new fresh with joys and smiles
for the start of this new cyclic

Closings & Delays Due to Weather - Monday 03.17.14


Status of Area Closings and Delays on Monday, March 17, 2014
Glenville State College
Gilmer County Courthouse
Gilmer County Senior Center
Gilmer County Schools2-Hour Delay >>TO>>  All Closed
Braxton County SchoolsAll Closed
Calhoun County SchoolsAll Closed
Doddridge County SchoolsAll Closed
Lewis County Schools2-Hour Delay >>TO>>  All Closed
Ritchie County SchoolsAll Closed
Barbour County Schools2-Hour Delay >>TO>>  All Closed
Clay County SchoolsAll Closed
Harrison County SchoolsAll Closed
Nicholas County Schools2-Hour Delay >>TO>>  All Closed
Pleasants County SchoolsAll Closed
Roane County Schools2-Hour Delay >>TO>>  All Closed
Tyler County Schools2-Hour Delay >>TO>>  All Closed
Upshur County SchoolsAll Closed
Webster County SchoolsAll Closed
Wirt County Schools2-Hour Delay >>TO>>  All Closed
Wood County Schools2-Hour Delay >>TO>>  All Closed

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Please Send Us Your Closings and Delays

White, Not Green, St. Patrick’s on Tap for West Virginia

The Gilmer Free Press

St. Patrick’s Day will be white instead of green in West Virginia.

A combination of low pressure and cold Canadian air is bringing heavy snow to parts of eastern and southeastern West Virginia.

Winter storm warnings are in effect from Sunday afternoon through Monday morning for Pendleton, Greenbrier, Monroe, Summers, Hardy, Grant, Pocahontas and Randolph counties.

The National Weather Service says Pendleton County could receive up to 10 inches of snow, with up to a foot in the mountains above 2,000 feet. Eight to nine inches of snow is expected in the other counties.

Other parts of the state could receive 2 to 5 inches of snow.


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Legislation passed in both the Senate and the House to
eliminate certain flood insurance hikes impacting thousands of West Virginia families

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) announced the passage of the “Flood Insurance Reform Act,” which will eliminate increased flood insurance costs for some properties unintentionally caused by the Biggert-Waters Act. The legislation will suspend insurance premium increases for grandfathered rates, all new subsidized policies initiated after enactment of Biggert-Waters, and all subsidized properties sold after enactment of Biggert-Waters. These provisions will allow homeowners to pass on their subsidized insurance policies to new owners when selling their home.

After the “Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act” passed the Senate on January 30, the House of Representatives worked with the Senate to develop a compromised bill that passed on March 04, 2014, by a vote of 306-91. Due to the bipartisan cooperation to fix this problem, the Senate today adopted the House version, which passed by a vote of 72-22.

“At a time when many Americans are still struggling to pay the bills each month from a slowly recovering economy, it is unacceptable that hundreds of thousands of homeowners have faced unreasonable and unmanageable increases to their flood insurance premiums. I’m pleased that members of Congress from both chambers have come together to relieve hardworking American homeowners from these drastic rate increases.”

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