Donations of time, ice, water, food keep powerless cool, hydrated
The storms that came through Vinton County at the end of June left many without electricity and air conditioning, but through the help of volunteers and donations, many in the county received the assistance needed to weather the outage that followed the storm.
With power restoration estimates as long as 10 days or more for some residents, and many landline and cellphone services down, quick action was needed to ensure the safety of the county’s residents.
On June 30, one day after the storm hit, Southeastern Ohio Red Cross, Vinton County EMA and other local officials stepped up to help those who were without electricity by opening a cooling station at the Vinton County Middle School.
That shelter opened again on Sunday and was used 24 hours to continue to help those struggling through the outage. After that, the shelter opened daily, providing showers, cots, phone charging stations and snacks. The shelter was also used to provide meals.
On July 2, the McArthur Crime Watch group brought back a load of water, donated by Chillicothe Walmart, to provide to those in need. The Vinton County Sheriff’s Office also provided water to residents from its location downtown.
On July 5, a truck hauling Queen City Ice stopped at the middle school and dropped off 18 pallets of ice, each pallet containing 66 bags. Those bags of ice, as well as packages of bottled water, were distributed to families in the area.
On July 6, crates of hot dog and hamburger buns, whole-wheat and honey-wheat bread and English muffins were unloaded at the Vinton County Fairgrounds for residents to pick up free of charge. Volunteers from Calvary Assembly of God in McArthur distributed the bread. The Breadman, Arthur Willhite, of Columbus, donated the bread. A cooling station was also set up in Wilkesville on July 6.
By July 8, electricity was restored to many in the county, but some remained in the dark. The efforts of volunteers have continued.