Some people in a Parkersburg neighborhood are counting their blessings after a severe storm caused significant damage to their homes on Christmas Eve.
Winds reaching up to 50 mph ravaged the area of South Sixth Street late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning. It tore roofs off buildings, knocked down power lines, uprooted large trees and demolished an entire garage.
“The wind was just - I mean it was unbelievable,” said Parkersburg resident Ray Wolpiok. “It was something like I’ve never seen before.”
Insulation, metal siding and chunks of wood lined the neighborhood’s streets through much of Thursday morning as residents woke up and surveyed the damage.
“All I know is the wind started blowing real hard. I opened my front door and it just about pushed me down on the floor,” said Parkersburg resident Jim Dornon. “I couldn't find my clothes fast enough. I just headed down my street in my jeans and boots to make sure [my wife’s grandpa] was alright.”
Despite all the damage, neighbors say they’re glad no one was injured in the storm.
“[There’s] not much here but the good thing is no one really got hurt,” Dornon said.
Parkersburg resident Tim Roberts echoed similar sentiments.
“Everybody's alright you know that's what [matters],” Roberts said. “I was watching the weather channel last night - tornadoes in other places where people lost their lives. So material stuff - material things you can replace them but [not people.]”
The Red Cross says it’s helping families find shelter tonight.
West Virginia Division of Highway crews estimate it will take weeks for all the storm damage to be cleaned up.