In comparison to the damage caused by storms late last month and early this one in some regions of West Virginia, we in the Northern Panhandle were relatively lucky. That said, many local residents suffered badly from power outages resulting from the storms.
As many as 1.4 million Mountain State residents were without electricity for days, even weeks, because of the storms. Power company repair crews worked diligently to restore service, but the extent of damage was so great it took a long time for them to do so.
Complaints about lengthy outages prompted Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin - and utility company officials - to begin looking into what could have been done to minimize the damage and how emergency services should alter their plans to handle the next similar disaster.
Indeed, much needs to be done. For example, power companies should take another look at their schedules for trimming tree branches away from electric lines. Emergency services officials need to know more about people in their areas who rely on electric-powered medical devices in their homes. As soon as possible, those issues and others should be addressed.