Gov. Ted Strickland visited the site on Friday, and Rep. Debbie Phillips, D-Athens, Senator Jimmy Stewart, R-Albany, and representatives of state and local agencies have been on the scene assisting in the cleanup and recovery efforts.
Officials estimate damages to homes and property will exceed $2 million. Meigs County Emergency Management Agency Director Robert Byer said 31 homes on Eden Ridge Road and Ohio 124 were destroyed, and as many as 30 more were seriously damaged. Electricity and telephone service, in some cases, were disrupted by the tornadoes.
Six people were treated at Parkersburg, W.Va., hospitals for injuries they suffered during the Thursday storm, with two cases classified as serious.
The storm system originated in Athens County, and caused significant property damage in Athens and The Plains. In Meigs County, the damage was primarily isolated to the Eden Ridge community. After traveling along Ohio 124 from Eden Ridge to the Ohio River, one of the two tornadoes crossed the Ohio River and killed a man in Belleville, W.Va., a small Wood County community just across the Ohio from Sugar Camp.
An emergency center has been set up at the Eden United Brethren Church on 124, and food and other supplies are being provided to storm victims there by local volunteers. The disaster has brought help from local church volunteers, and students from Eastern High School were permitted to spend most of the school day on Monday assisting in the cleanup of debris and other storm recovery work.
What relief volunteers and storm victims need most are supplies to aid in the cleanup, Byer said. They need canopies and tents, hand sanitizer, totes and heavy trash bags, rakes, shovels, large rolls of plastic, tarps, safety glass, chain saws and saw operators. Anyone who wishes to donate items to the effort is asked to call 378-6244.
A representative of Auditor Mary Byer-Hill will be in the area on Thursday, Byer said, to assist with applications for tax reduction due to property damages caused by the storm.
The Meigs County Dog Warden will be distributing dog food to tornado victims who need it.