PARKERSBURG - Wood County parks sustained damage and were the victims of vandalism and theft after Friday night's storm ripped through the area.
County officials reported Tuesday there was some major damage at Veterans Park as a result of the storms, with several large trees down. And, while electricity was out and security cameras down, there were thefts of signs at Fort Boreman Park. Veterans Park remains closed as cleanup and damage assessment continues. Wood County Administrator Marty Seufer said they hope to get some of the trees cleared out Thursday.
The county commissioners met Monday, but all other county offices and the courts were closed. The offices and courts resumed regular hours Tuesday. Offices are closed today for the July 4 holiday. Regular hours should resume Thursday.
County officials reported they hope to get some of the trees cleared Thursday at Veterans Park, which remains closed until further notice. (Photos courtesy of Wood County Administrator Marty Seufer)
"We had a status meeting Sunday with emergency services. A food drop off at Erickson Stadium Monday, and Tuesday was arranged so people could take their food waste there. We could have had some real problems with a long hot weekend having rotten food laying around. We did that in conjunction with the Wood County Solid Waste Authority. We also received updates on remaining power outages. The health department building was closed systemwide, based on issues at the building, and their off-sites experienced damage. They were assessing damage Monday, and they are to contact us for an update," said Wood County commission President Blair Couch.
Couch said most of the damage at Veterans Park was due to felled trees, and the damage is still being assessed. County officials aren't sure when it will reopen. Those with reservations are being contacted. At Fort Boreman there was vandalism and apparently some chose to take advantage of the power outage to steal several signs.
As of the Sunday briefing, Couch said the power was back up using generators at the county buildings, so the county commissioners had agreed to open the offices for business. The commissioners held its scheduled meeting, other county offices and courts were closed.
Couch said after the briefing Sunday, he was contacted by the prosecutor who said the state Supreme Court had closed the courts, and since the governor had declared a state of emergency, stating non-essential personnel didn't need to report, Couch said some of the county officials felt the county should close the buildings.
"The city was opening even though they didn't have air conditioning. Our generators were up and operating, so we felt we should open, but the other county officials decided not to open. Our departments, maintenance, the IT staff reported and we had our meeting," Couch said, "I contacted a number of other counties. About 50 percent of the county offices in the state opened up on Monday," Couch said.
Couch noted the 911 center did well despite the temporary loss of phone service at one point.
"But the backup worked well. It's been stressful, but so many people have come together to help their neighbors," Couch said.
For those suffering major damage, destruction of real or personal property, Wood County Assessor Rich Shaffer said it needs to be reported to his office so adjustments to value can be made.
"If someone sustained a large amount of damage, it would be helpful to contact us so we could look at the damage. The new assessment period began July 1, so the change would be reflected on next year's assessment. If the damage was minimal, it would probably still be in the 10 percent guideline we are required to be within," Shaffer said.
"Also, if you lost a car as a result of the storm, don't report the car as personal property, the forms to report personal property were out in the mail on Friday," he said.
A status hearing scheduled for Monday afternoon with the C8 Science Panel was canceled and will be rescheduled.