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Three Jefferson County farms further damaged by weather

Governor asks for disaster declaration in 11 W.Va. counties

Governor asks for disaster declaration in 11 W.Va. counties

June 12, 2008|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- The second severe storm to sweep through the Eastern Panhandle in a week caused damage Tuesday at three Jefferson County farms that were hit during the first storm, according to the county's Homeland Security and Emergency Management director.

The roof of a home along Arabian Place in the Spring Valley subdivision between Summit Point, W.Va., and Charles Town, W.Va., was covered with a blue tarp Wednesday morning as Barbara J. Miller surveyed storm damage.

No one was at the residence when she visited, but Miller said the damage appeared significant.

A 30-foot by 50-foot shed also collapsed in the area of Rippon, W.Va., a small community in southern Jefferson County.

Miller could not specify the extent of damages at the farms. An assessment of crop damage caused by hail that fell in the storm also was being completed, Miller said.

"It seems like the weather doesn't like us right now," Miller said.

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A farmer in last week's storm lost at least six cows that were injured when the barn they were in collapsed June 4.

Tuesday's storm downed more trees, and Miller said West Virginia Division of Highways crews were clearing Withers Larue Road on Wednesday while she was surveying damage.

"We haven't had much time off around here lately," Miller said.

Gov. Joe Manchin on Wednesday asked President Bush to declare a major disaster in Jefferson County and 10 other West Virginia counties to make them eligible for federal disaster recovery assistance.

Miller said the declaration would be particularly helpful to farmers affected by the storms and also would help the city of Ranson, W.Va., with overtime costs accrued in responding to significant storm damage.

Last week, high winds hurled tree limbs into the side of a church along Chapel Drive and sent a structure used to store shopping carts flying into a car, officials said.

Despite the unfortunate circumstances, Miller said almost all of the affected property owners she had spoken with had adequate insurance to cover the damage.

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