SOMERSET-—Somerset County has not been hit hard by Hurricane Irene, but that doesn’t mean residents haven’t felt its impact.
Four people have been killed in Pennsylvania, bringing the number of hurricane related deaths to 20 as the tropical storn continues to ravage much of the East Coast.
Tabitha Wilson and her husband, Brice brought their two children to Somerset for the weekend after they were forced to evacuate their home in Virginia Beach Friday. Brice is stationed at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, where the family has lived for several years.
Wilson, who was born in Somerset, said her family’s decision to seek refuge farther north was a spur-of-the-moment decision.
“It was very last minute,” she said.
The family underwent a great deal of stress after losing their Laborador Retrievers, Jasper and Hope, after getting to Somerset. Fortunately, the family found the two dogs and are ready to return to Virginia to see how their home fared during the storm.
“We really appreciate everyone who helped us find our dogs,” she said. “The people here are so caring.”
Like many others who were displaced during the storm, Wilson is unsure how much damage her home sustained.
“I have no idea what my home looks like. One of the doors flew open, so there is debris in the house,” she said. “One of my neighbors lost an 8-foot fence.”
Rich Bauer, general manager of the Somerset Rural Electric Cooperative, said it will send two employees to the Sussex, N.J. area to assist with electrical repairs.
“They are leaving tomorrow,” he said.