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Storm delays holiday activities

Storm
Oct. 30, 2012 @ 09:37 AM

HUNTINGTON -- A massive storm from North Carolina to New England is causing a shift in many Tri-State events, including trick-or-treat across the region.

Most areas including Cabell County will observe trick-or-treat Thursday evening, when weather conditions are expected to calm and become mostly cloudy with a high near 47 and low near 36, according to the National Weather Service.

The change was made for concern of public safety, according to Cabell County administrator Chris Tatum. Parents are advised to contact their municipality for any questions regarding trick-or-treat or community Halloween activities.

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has declared a state of emergency for the entire state and many areas are expecting high wind, rain and snow with blizzard conditions in at least 14 counties. At least 10,088 power customers were in the dark in other parts of the state as of Monday afternoon and one fatality from a motor vehicle accident in Tucker County is being attributed to storm conditions. There were no power outages being reported locally as of press time.

Though the Tri-State isn't expecting loads of snow, the National Weather Service is calling for a 100 percent chance of rain or snow with a high of 42 degrees and wind on Tuesday. Wind speed is forecasted to be from 15 to 20 miles per hour, with gusts as strong as 38 miles per hour. The low Tuesday night is forecasted to be 38 degrees. The chance of rain lowers to 40 percent by Wednesday with a high of 43 degrees.

Weather from Hurricane Sandy combined with a winter storm has prompted other delays and concerns in the Tri-State. The Tri-State Airport's marketing director, Beckie McKinley, said at least one flight to Charlotte was canceled because of the weather and another was delayed. Allegiant flights were running on time, she added. An hourlong power outage at the Huntington Mall in Barboursville was also reported on Monday afternoon.

Additionally, the weather prompted Marshall University to postpone its Monday men's basketball exhibition game with Bluefield College because of bad weather in the Bluefield, Va., area. It was moved to 8 p.m. Thursday, following a women's game against Concord University at 5:30 p.m.

West Virginia Turnpike Manager Greg Barr told the Beckley Register-Herald that his crews, buttressed by extra trucks and a vast supply of salt, are prepared for the worst. Motorists, however, are advised to remain off of the turnpike if possible.

Area organizations from the Salvation Army to the Huntington Area Food Bank are preparing to help at any call requesting assistance. The food bank is equipped with hundreds of gallons of drinking water and nearly 500 bags of ice. The national office of the Salvation Army said they are "mobilized and ready to serve," with cleanup kits, hygiene kits, shower units, first aid supplies and more as the need arises.

The Wayne County Republican Headquarters in Ceredo will be accepting donations from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday at its office located at 304 Main St., Ceredo. Nonperishable items such as bottled water and canned goods are requested and will go to the American Red Cross relief effort.

The American Red Cross is also urging immediate blood donations in areas unaffected by Hurricane Sandy.

"Sandy has already caused the cancellation of several Red Cross blood drives along its path, including in our 100-county service area, resulting in a shortfall of several hundred units of blood and platelets thus far," John Hagins, CEO, Greater Alleghenies Region Blood Services Region, said in a press release.

The Red Cross has moved blood products to the areas most likely to be affected by Sandy. But hospital patients in all areas still need blood and platelets despite the weather, he said.

Local donations can be made throughout the week from Ashland to Hurricane. To find a time and location, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

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