At five o’clock this past Sunday the town of Parkersburg was forever-altered by a fierce tornado that destroyed homes, businesses and the local high school.
Parkersburg Mayor Bob Haylock says things have been very hectic this past week. "Fortunately, we received an awful lot of help from surrounding fire departments and the state and federal people. We have 150 National Guard people here, quite a few highway patrolmen and things like that," Haylock says, "and then all kinds of experts….to organize the recovery."
Five people were killed in Parkersburg and a few of those who were injured remain in the hospital. Haylock says others who received more minor injuries are already pitching in to help cleanup after the disaster. "Minor injuries, cuts and that type of thing, and they were treated as rapidly as possible and they’re back to work, going through the rubble," the mayor says.
The city hall was destroyed in the storm. An empty building that used to be home to a car dealership is temporary quarters until city officials decide what to do about a new city hall.
Haylock was out of town when the tornado hit. He got to Parkersburg about 10 minutes later; by then about a third of the town had been destroyed.