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The following is a press release from West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin:
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced tonight that he has declared a state of emergency for the entire state of West Virginia in the wake of this evening's powerful storms. The storms have left an estimated 500,000 people without power as a result of outages in at least 27 counties. The statewide emergency declaration will allow all government resources to be devoted immediately to helping those in need and restoring power as soon as possible.
"The damage from today's storms is widespread and in many places severe," said Gov. Tomblin. "With temperatures near 100 degrees expected this weekend, it's critical that we get people's power back on as soon as possible. We're committing 100% of our state's resources for as long as we need to get this cleaned up."
West Virginians without power should stay as cool as possible and drink plenty of water. The elderly and others susceptible to extreme heat should consider moving to an air conditioned location or seeking help if they feel that their health is threatened. All West Virginians are urged to check in on friends and neighbors who may need assistance, and to call 911 in the event of emergency.