RUSSELL CO., Va. - One year ago Tuesday, Superstorm Sandy marched up the east coast paralyzing the Northeast, but the remnants of the storms were felt right here in our area.
"It started to snow here very lightly and then it got heavy," said Bonnie Francisco of Lebanon, Va.
Francisco still remembers looking out of her downtown Lebanon store window on the afternoon of Monday October 29, 2012. "We had a big snow," said Francisco.
That snow was from the southern part of Superstorm Sandy.
Russell County, along with other counties in Southwest Virginia, took the brunt of the storm. On that day the Virginia State Police received more than 600 calls from southwest Virginia; 67 of them were crashes.
Appalachian Power reported that 13,000 people in our area had lost power by 6 p.m. 2,700 of those customers were in Russell County alone.
Russell County Emergency Management coordinator Jess Powers told News 5 some of those people ended up at the EMA center. "We had about 58 people here," said Jess Powers.
It was a lot of people for an unanticipated and widespread event, but this year they are ready for whatever comes their way.
Powers took us back to the storage room where they have cots and clothes, because they know that winter is on the way and they don't want to be caught by surprise.
He tells News 5 that they even prepared for specific health needs of their residents. "When the power goes out a lot of people in this area are mining or they have COPD, they have some kind of chronic pulmonary problem and they need supplied oxygen. We have supplied oxygen here in stored takes already ready to go," said Powers.
Even though the sun is shining today, Francisco is ready for whatever happens tomorrow, while always remembering last year. "I'll never forget this," she said.