NSS Convention Banquet Hit By Huge Storm !!!

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NSS Convention Banquet Hit By Huge Storm !!!

Postby Larry E. Matthews » Jun 30, 2012 5:19 pm

Can we ever have an NSS Convention without some type of dramatic weather? Not often, I don't think. Betty and I were at the NSS Awards Banquet last night, which started off bad, since the air conditioning was not working. So, nearly 1,000 sweaty bodies were crammed in a building at the West Virginia State Fairgrounds.

But, what the heck, we were having fun, anyway. Then, all the power went out. The speakers were reading by flashlight and trying to YELL loud enough for everyone to hear them. After a while, I told my wife Betty, that I thought we might as well just head back to the motel.

We go out to the car and pull out onto the one-way street and whosh.............the straight line winds hit. BIG trees are going down all over the place. We were very lucky not to get hit by one. It took us over 2 hours to get back the 4 miles to the motel. And, we were lucky to get back at all, so many roads were blocked. The entire town of Lewisburg was without power, so we used our flashlights and went up the stairs to our room. Of course, the window was not designed to open, so it was a rather stuffy room last night.

We got up this morning at 5:30 (better known as The Crack of Dawn) to learn that the entire State of West Virginia was without electricity. The closest gas stations (with electriciy) were 100 miles in one direction (east) and 150 miles in another. We had half a tank of gas, so we took off back to Tennessee. Somewhere in Virginia on I-81, as we got precariously low on gas, we finally found a gas station with it's light on and it's pumps working. Hooray !!!

Quite an exciting end to what was a very enjoyable NSS Convention. Hope nobody got hurt at the Campground. There were lots of big trees there.

Larry E. Matthews
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Re: NSS Convention Banquet Hit By Huge Storm !!!

Postby tagkycaver » Jun 30, 2012 7:26 pm

It'll be one to remember!
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Re: NSS Convention Banquet Hit By Huge Storm !!!

Postby Michael Chu » Jun 30, 2012 9:45 pm

Here's a few pictures of the storm's aftermath at the campground (pics taken early this morning).
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.748969317496.2145335.17508336&type=1&l=49929b6d39
I had similar issues with finding a gas station with gas---headng east, the first functional one I found was the first Lexington, VA exit off I-64. Thank goodness it's mostly downhill from Lewisburg to there.
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Re: NSS Convention Banquet Hit By Huge Storm !!!

Postby wvuboyer » Jun 30, 2012 9:54 pm

I drove back to Fairmont today, luckily I had a full tank of gas. The first town to have power going north on I-79 was Fairmont. I worried like crazy last night for those that were in the campground. A nasty storm for sure. The worst I've been in. We were a few feet away from a full oak tree smacking the road behind us. I feel so lucky to have made it through that.
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Re: NSS Convention Banquet Hit By Huge Storm !!!

Postby VACaver » Jul 1, 2012 8:33 am

Jeff and John should have included a human sacrifice in the events to appease the weather gods. :grin:

Really happy that no one was hurt!
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Re: NSS Convention Banquet Hit By Huge Storm !!!

Postby cavedoc55 » Jul 1, 2012 9:13 am

Kudos to Jeff and John for managing this disaster within a county-wide/region-wide disaster.
The entire convention really pulled together and, like cavers, dealt with the obstacles at hand.
Thanks to the Fairground staff (for assistance and providing supplies) and to Kroger's (for supplying food) and to everyone who came forward and helped.
We are truly fortunate no one was seriously injured.

Having said that, since this is the LAST convention, perhaps the human sacrifice may have helped....
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Re: NSS Convention Banquet Hit By Huge Storm !!!

Postby Mike Hood » Jul 1, 2012 1:00 pm

I'm so glad we filled the truck up Thursday! We were able to drive all the way back to Dayton, OH, without having to stop. What few gas stations we did see open in WV had very long lines! The weather was beautiful all week and I thought we might actually get through a convention without a major storm.

Other than the storm (which made the convention official :big grin: ) we had a great time and the entire convention staff did a great job!
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Re: NSS Convention Banquet Hit By Huge Storm !!!

Postby Dave Luckins » Jul 1, 2012 1:54 pm

Special thanks to the Convention staffers who supplied 'nuff gas for me to make it far enough to find power/gas. Great convention and great staff. But, to quote jim Hall, "somebody up there doesn't like us...."

Enough already with the storms and havoc. :doh:
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Re: NSS Convention Banquet Hit By Huge Storm !!!

Postby Caver Chris » Jul 2, 2012 3:08 pm

Hi, this is Chris from the Boston Grotto. We had extensive damage to Rich Holub's truck and Steve Stokowski's truck from a black walnut tree, but both vehicles still drivable. We were camped below the DC Grotto, up the hill not far from the two porta-potties.

I lost my camera in the storm, a Canon in a Lowepro nylon camera bag. Does anyone know whether a lost and found will be set up? Surely a few valuable bits of equipment survived the storm but ended up separated from the owners.
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Re: NSS Convention Banquet Hit By Huge Storm !!!

Postby caverdan » Jul 3, 2012 11:17 am

This is Andy and Bonny Armstrong's tent. She told me she was in it moments before the storm hit.


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I was told the winds were coming and headed back to hold the Madrat tent down. Due to the way I set it up......instead of the winds picking it up.....it drove it into the ground.


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Thank God no one was hurt as a group of us scoured the downed trees for people. We get a lot of big winds out West here....but I've never seen huge trees like that be blown over.

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A couple of the trucks that were damaged.

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The roof of the school over the vendor area suffered heavy damage and the inside of the building took a huge hit with both water and structural damage. Luckily ....I think I heard..... everyone had packed up their goods so no one suffered any damage to their merchandise.

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I must say the rest of the convention was a blast. A big thanks to Jeff Bray and his staff for putting on a great convention. :kewl: :clap: :clap: :clap:
Member: Colorado Madrats, SoCoMoGro,CWSG.
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