Obama Declares Emergency in W.Va. Due to Outages - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Obama Declares Emergency in W.Va. Due to Outages

CHARLESTON (AP) -

President Barack Obama has issued an emergency declaration for West Virginia following violent storms that have left more than 680,000 without electricity.

The emergency declaration issued Saturday afternoon authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide help and coordinate relief efforts. It follows Gov. Earl Ray Tombllin's declaration of a state of emergency.

Tomblin says the outages' extent greater than any in recent history, affecting 53 of the state's 55 counties.

The outages have limited access to gasoline across the state. Pumps at some stations are out of service and stations with working pumps are seeing long lines of vehicles.

Tomblin is urging residents to stay off the roads so emergency responders have access to gasoline.

State officials are assessing nursing homes and hospitals to determine whether evacuations are needed.

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