Governor Jim Justice declared a State of Emergency for Ohio County Wednesday afternoon. This comes after the severe storm ripped through parts of the Valley on Monday night, bringing along flash-flooding, downed trees and power lines, and leaving thousands without power. 

It’s been two nights since the storm hit Wheeling, and power lines are still down and fallen trees have blocked roads, smashing houses and cars in their path. 

And just up the street from Oakmont Road lives Briana Gradie, who was home that night. 

Briana Gradie, lives in Wheeling:

“Didn’t think it was even real, at the time, to be honest.” 

Gradie fell asleep to one of her favorite tv shows like any other night, but hours later, a loud bang suddenly woke her and her daughter up. 

Briana Gradie:

“I just screamed.”

Only to be surprised by a tree that tumbled on her house. 

{Briana Gradie, lives in Wheeling}

“I was like, ‘Oh my god. A tree fell on my house.”  

And she watched, as the storm quickly picked up.

“The sky was blood red. There was lightning everywhere. Wind blowing. Crazy noises. I thought I was in the middle of a ‘Stranger Things’ episode, like a nightmare.”

And as the storm intensified, the 70 mile per hour wind blew two more of her trees over, tearing off part of her porch and crushing her fence.  Gradie’s windows also blew out and her car was totaled.  

“No electricity. Don’t have a car right now. It’s been hard.”

Many more homes like Gradie’s have been hit hard. 

That’s why Governor Jim Justice is sending help Ohio County’s way.

Gov. Jim Justice:

“Rest assured, anytime that anything like this happens, we’re on it immediately. We’re going to run to the fire and take care of these folks who are affected.”

The Governor has directed the West Virginia National Guard and the West Virginia Emergency Management Division to begin the clean up process. He’s already sent a liaison officer to help access damage in Ohio County, and Thursday, guardsmen will help remove debris and downed trees. 

And if anyone needs it, the Governor says help is there. 

“If you’re having issues, contact your County Emergency Manager, and we’ll go from there.”

The State of Emergency will be in effect for the next 30 days unless something changes.