CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin plans to ask President Barack Obama for a federal disaster declaration to help residents and businesses in the hardest-hit areas of the state recover from Superstorm Sandy.
Tomblin said Thursday he'll seek both public and individual assistance.
Damage assessments are continuing following a storm that buried large portions of West Virginia under as much as three feet of snow. The intense weather left trees lying over power lines and on roads, while nearly a dozen roofs collapsed under the weight of accumulated snow.
As of Thursday morning the West Virginia National Guard had 22 liaison teams helping at emergency operations centers across the state. Another 35 teams are out assessing the needs of people in those communities, according to a news release.
Teams charged with clean up efforts have been deployed to Nicholas, Tucker and Preston counties. Three chainsaw crews were sent to Webster County, and three search and extraction teams were sent to Kingwood, Elkins and Summersville in response to roof collapses.
Meanwhile, utility crews continued to work Thursday to restore power to 148,000 customers in West Virginia.
Appalachian Power says it has about 68,000 outages, including 13,500 in Kanawha County.
Appalachian Power spokesman Phil Moye says service is expected to be restored by Sunday night in some other areas, including Charleston and Madison. Service should be restored by Friday night in Beckley, Bluefield, Hamlin, Hico, Huntington, Logan, Pineville, Point Pleasant, Ripley, Wayne, Welch and Williamson.
FirstEnergy's website says Thursday morning more than 80,000 customers of Mon Power and Potomac Edison are still without electricity. A majority of its customers in Barbour, Braxton, Clay, Nicholas, Preston, Randolph, Tucker, Upshur and Webster counties had no power. Preston County had the most outages at 13,400.
A Mon Power spokesman had no estimate on when power would be restored.