West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today requested a major federal disaster declaration that, if granted, would bring assistance to areas most affected by Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath.
The state expects the request to be granted today or tomorrow, said the governor's spokeswoman, Amy Shuler Goodwin.
"It's going to be fast because we need it and everyone knows we need it as fast as possible," she said.
Six people are confirmed dead in the state because of Sandy.
The latest is a 71-year-old Webster County woman who is believed to have fallen under feet of snow while attempting to feed her dogs, Ms. Goodwin said.
Also killed was a West Virginia House of Delegates candidate, 60-year-old John Rose of Barbour County. He was on an ATV checking on his fence line when a tree limb fell on him, Ms. Goodwin said.
Ms. Goodwin said 136,277 customers were still without power statewide, just after 3 p.m. today.
Five Red Cross volunteers from Southwestern Pennsylvania were assigned to some of hardest-hit areas: three volunteers are the civic center Kingwood, Preston County, which is acting as a shelter and serving meals to locals and FEMA staff, and two are at a shelter in Grafton, Taylor County.
Fifty shelters in the state are still open, Ms. Goodwin said.
An additional three to six inches of snow fell in the state's higher elevations overnight atop the existing one to two feet already on the ground.
The National Weather Service said those areas could see another inch or two overnight.
The governor and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin visited Barbour, Randolph, Tucker and Upshur counties today to assess storm damage and meet with local emergency management officials.
Molly Born: email@example.com, 412-263-1944 and on Twitter @borntolede.