ON Tuesday, the biggest October snowstorm ever recorded in Charleston knocked out power for residents across the city and the state.
Utility companies and the Division of Highways were as prepared as they could be. Appalachian Power had nearly 1,000 workers in place - half of them from out-of-state - in anticipation of the big storm.
Some churches set up shelters. Most West Virginians re-supplied ahead of the storm. The derecho last summer turned out to be the drill for this storm.
"My advice to people is we're working on it. Settle down and be patient. If it's not an emergency, stay home," Charleston public works director Gary Taylor told the Gazette. "Going out to the grocery store is not an emergency. You should have done it already."
Public officials issue warnings to protect the public, and good citizens listen.
Unfortunately, there were a few people who didn't listen. They ventured out when they did not need to. And their driving was not always up to snuff. When traffic lights are out, people are supposed to treat those intersections as four-way stops. Some barrel through at full throttle.
Highways officials reported that clearing the snow was easy early on. But then people began to drive faster, and accidents began to happen on the cleared roads. This diverted crews from clearing other sections that still had snow.
Snow in October does not last long. Power crews at great risk to themselves work overtime to restore power. The best way people can show their appreciation is to wait out the storm's aftermath patiently.