Disaster Diaries Part Four: Winding down

Wednesday, June 30

Hot Flash from DR 112-10:

The Emergency Communications Response Vehicle (ECRV) 4703, based in Manassas, Va., and the oldest of the ECRVs, is to be scrapped after it is stripped of its equipment. The mechanical diagnosis is that it needs a new engine and transmission and it has been decided that the investment would not be cost effective. A team will be dispatched to Chapmanville in a box truck with the tools to remove all the radios, dish, mast, consoles, etc and then sell the body for parts or junk. This unexpected loss might mean more activity for the Charlotte ECRV. Updates as they occur…

We are in wind-down mode here in South Charleston headquarters. We are sending caseworkers home daily. Yesterday we picked up 47 cots, of 75 delivered, at the staff shelter at Logan High School. Today we got about 18 more. They expect to close by Friday when we will go back and clear out everything that’s left.

We picked up and returned to US Food in Hurricane, W.Va., about 1,200 pounds of canned food items that the kitchen won’t need.  The kitchen is closing after they cook lunch for the ERVs to deliver tomorrow (Thursday).  Hopefully the facility can be inspected tomorrow afternoon and officially closed.  A staff of about 8 volunteers prepared, and the ERVs delivered, about 1,100 meals a day for 13 days from a 16’x16’ kitchen in a small Baptist Church.  The ERVs look like they have been mud racing.

Headquarters will effectively close Saturday.  MSS and DST will remain to wrap up bill paying and accounting for all the non-expendable “stuff” we have borrowed or bought.  The rented tables, chairs, and copier will be retrieved by vendors on Monday.  DST has to wait until we are finished with the laptops before they can disassemble the VSAT (satellite dish) and pack it for shipping.  They will use the box truck it is sitting on top of to carry all their boxes of equipment to FedEx for shipment to the Austin, TX, Disaster Services Center.

Word is, I will be released on Tuesday or Wednesday.  It seems that Fourth of July is an especially big holiday here and everything but the Kanawah River shuts down for a looong weekend.  I’ve heard it referred to as a ‘miner’s holiday” but I don’t know what that implies.  AND, the President, VP, and entourage will come to town Friday for Sen. Byrd’s State Funeral.  I haven’t heard if we will get any time off or not over the weekend.  It isn’t clear what we can accomplish but everyone wants to finish up as quickly as we can.


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