WAYNE — Casey Moore saw crews working to restore power to thousands of Wayne County residents and decided she wanted to thank them by providing meals and snacks since they may have limited access to food where they are working.
“My dad works for the gas company and I’ve spent my life watching him go out in bad weather to make sure other people had heat,” she said. “So that mixed with the realization that many of these men are working out in places that don’t have restaurants, gas stations or fast food places with electric right now — I figured they’d be relieved to have something extra on hand without traveling too far from their worksite.”
Moore, a former Wayne County Schools teacher and current stay-at-home mom, said her family lost power for four days during the first snow and ice storms Feb. 11 and they were not prepared.
After the lights came back on, Moore said her family was so thankful that they baked cookies together and delivered them to the local DirecTV site where many power company and tree removal crews were waiting for orders.
After losing power during the second wave of storms, Moore said she posted on Facebook asking if anyone knew where crews were located or other ways to help, and people started offering monetary donations and time to help distribute food.
Moore said she received more than $1,000 in donations in less than a week and was able to pack lunches and snack bags through the weekend. Moore and her helpers were even able to distribute coffee donated by the Kenova Baptist Church for a hot start on some days.
Though she was the one who reached out to Facebook asking what to do, Moore said everything has been a huge community effort and she has enjoyed hearing stories from the workers from different states, and countries.
“This was such a huge community effort. I just saw a need and wanted to fulfill it best I could and so many wonderful people in our community share that same desire,” she said. “It’s been fun to do and hear all the stories from where everyone is from. I’ve met men from Illinois, Tennessee, Alabama and Canada!”
Some of Moore’s helpers include Rebekah Yoder of Huntington and Nikki Barr of Kenova, who both helped distribute the lunches, snacks and beverages to working crews in Wayne and Cabell counties.
Yoder said giving back to the crews was an easy decision, and she wishes she could do more to help.
“Workers have come from all over the country and even Canada to help restore utilities and safety,” she said. “There are residents who are still shut in on back roads with no access to anything and don’t have power. The least we can do is say thank you to the utility workers and give them some support for their tireless work.”
Yoder said delivering food gave her an inside look on what some of the utility crews were dealing with in the storm’s aftermath. She said finding crews on main roads was easy, but getting to back roads and hollers let her see first-hand how bad some of the damage was.
Barr said she was saddened to see all the damage done by the weather, and while she and her family could not restore power to people’s homes, they could try to give back by helping those who are helping the community.
“We saw so many trucks everywhere all working to get everything back together as fast as they can,” Barr said. “Casey had made a post asking how she could help and some people stated that they don’t get many breaks and electric being out and being in such rural areas kept them from being able to get a meal. I couldn’t help get the electric back on for so many but I could help those who were doing it.”
Yoder, like Moore said she has seen a great community effort and hopes people remember to be patient as the crews continue to restore power to residents.
“It is truly amazing to see how this community has come together to support each other during this time,” Yoder said. “Please be gracious and patient with those who are working to help in any way. Please remember that these are our brothers and sisters, whether they’re the ones in need or the ones helping.”