1928 - Alderson High School - 1968


2012 4th of July Storm Photos

Photos courtesy Margaret Hambrick

As you have probably heard by now, Alderson had a severe wind storm just in time for the 4th July celebration. Most activities were canceled because of no power. Fortunately the parade went on because of human power, horse power, and "horse" power. No batteries needed.

The following are emails that give a good description of what they observed.

I actually saw the GRIC with my own eyes on Saturday, June 30 , 2012. At least all I could see from the outside, peeking into the windows, for it was locked up tight as nearly everything else was in Alderson, WV, 12 hours after the" wind storm" went through. Trees down, power out, roads blocked about 9 p.m. Friday. Lots of chain saw work, neighbor helping neighbor, one lane roads and despair as the deep freezers melted and the 2012 Homecoming Banquet became a dream deferred.

After a dark, quiet, warm Friday night at the Holiday Inn in Lewisburg my caregiver/companion and I, on Saturday morning, drove very carefully down the river to Alderson. Many places were one lane but the chain saw crew had opened the entire road from Alderson to Ronceverte. AHS school girls were taking down all the wonderful decorations in the auditorium, folding up the paper table cloth, getting the area ready to be used for emergency housing for Greenbrier Campers if they lost all their tents or for others needing emergency shelter. There was palpable disappointment all over town--there would be no Homecoming--yet, at the same time enormous relief that there were no injuries and the losses were mostly trees, a few shingles and road signs. But everyone worried about the water dropping in the reservoir tank and no electricity for the pumps and all the banquet food was going to spoil and when would the telephones begin to work again. The baking contest went on as scheduled because several bakers had completed their entries BEFORE the power went out and Saturday they shared their entries with the two visitors from Ohio. - Mary Margaret Steele Morgan, AHS '42

"My power got turned on this afternoon but it is not on in other parts of Alderson. We had the 4th of July parade today and it was a great morale booster. Trees down and sidewalks uprooted. Looks like Fl. after a hurricane and the info we are hearing, was the winds were 60-70 miles. No confirmation on that but if you look at the mountains on the Monroe side it looks like a hurricane or a tornado hit. The fire station is giving away water and emergency MRI kits. They brought in a water truck on Sat. which is behind the Methodist church. It has been terrible but as always people stop and check on you. Water was cut off for about 24 hours but they brought in a generator and we have had non-drinking water since then.

The stores have been open for bread and non-perishable items and neighbors have been cooking on grills and inviting friends and family to come by. As always, Alderson will rebound. The financial loss to the business and the 4th of July Committee will be huge, so if anyone can help, now is the time. Hoping everyone is well and the next 4th will be bigger and better. Will try to keep you updated." - Marjory Sweetwood

"WE just got power at 4:30 a.m. (7-4-2012) this morning at my house. Most of Alderson is still without. I have photos of the storm and the parade today which I will upload this afternoon if I can. THe best story here is how the neighbors took care of each other. There is less real house damage than you might imagine. Just from my roaming around, I think about 10 houses suffered real damage and even then, perhaps only 1 trailer is uninhabitable. We were blessed.

Here are some photos from the storm. They were taken on Saturday morning before much cleanup. I did not get everywhere. The mountain side on the Monroe side looked like it had been given a bad hair cut or as Reverend Lanny Howe said, "Like God had gotten on a lawn mower, set it at 50 feet, and taken a ride." Not all the trees are sheared--just in wide swaths. True Value lost its sign. I put in the photo of the large Alderson sign at the bank to illustrate how many branches covered the ground in some places.

I think most of Alderson may have power now. At least a couple of power poles were sheared off so those houses served by them will take longer. We are grateful not to have been without water except for a few hours. Neighbors have been great to help each other.

I agree with Paul Bland that the July 4th Celebration will have lost a lot of money this year. I support his suggestion to send donations to the Committee. This event is not funded by the town. It gets a little grant support but makes most of its money from the sale of rubber ducky tickets and maybe a little from events. They will need our help to fund the event for next year.

All in all, we were blessed." - Margaret Hambrick

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