Westville Residents Coping After Storm

Thursday, January 29th 2009, 6:32 pm
By: News On 6

By Dan Bewley, The News On 6

WESTVILLE, OK -- More than 1,200 homes and businesses are still without power in Westville.

Residents still grasp at words to explain what's happened to their homes.          

"It's crazy," Westville resident Katie Springer said. "It's unexpected."

"I ain't ever seen anything like this," Brad Johnson said.

The ice came Monday night and covered everything -- cars, fences, and, of course, trees. The tops are bent, broken, twisted and falling on homes.

 "All night you hear trees falling, cracking," Johnson said.

Brad Johnson and his family of seven are like 80 percent of the town and still without power.

Officials aren't sure when the power will come back on. Some residents have heard it could be as long as three weeks.

"In our house you can breathe and see the smoke," Savannah Inman said. "In our house, it's pretty crazy."

The focus is on cleaning up the mess, but town officials are worried about the elderly or disabled who live here that can't do the work themselves. They're also worried about coming up with the money for the cleanup.

"The problem is the small towns don't have the resources to get the money for a cleanup like this," said Bill Lewis, Westville emergency management director.

Lewis hopes state officials don't forget about his town that sits two miles from the Arkansas border.

Residents said they hope the decision-makers are also watching, but add they're not worried. Westville is a tough town.

 " ... I also think that this community itself will come together and help each other clean up," Springer said. "I really do."

The town's emergency management director said he has been told power crews from out of state are on their way, but he doesn't know when they will get there.

Lewis also said there are no reports of any major injuries, only a few twisted ankles from people falling on the ice.