Throughout Burke and Springfield on Sunday, residents continued to deal with the aftermath of Friday's storm. Within neighborhoods, some streets had power while others did not.
Within the frustrations and hardships of dealing with the situation, many in our community lent a hand to help others.
Sol Griffin, general manager of Petco, was one such person. "I thought about what I'd do if my dogs didn't have food," said Griffin. "We don't have power in the store, so we can't let people in, but we're doing what we can," he said.
On Saturday and Sunday, Griffin and his staff worked from a table outside the Rolling Valley Mall store. They ran into the store and brought out whatever people needed.
West Springfield resident Lyn Isaacson brought her daughters Makenna and Cassidy to the store on Sunday. They were in need of bedding for their hamsters, Mighty and West. The girls attend West Springfield Elementary School, from which West obtained his name. Staff member Nick Ecker retrieved the bedding from the dark store for the girls, as Griffin wrote a receipt by hand for mom.
Griffin said the store will be open Monday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.—if they have power. If not, he and his team will be on the sidewalk again from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity opened his office in the West Springfield Governmental Center on Sunday as an unofficial cooling center. "We had several people come by earlier in the day," said Senior Legislative Aide Marlae Schnare. "Some watched television in the community room, and others just sat in the cool air," she said.
Schnare's home was still without power on Sunday, so her husband David and their dog Samantha were among the guests.
She said the community room is open 24/7, and is stocked with water for anyone needing an escape from the heat throughout the week.
Burke Centre Library is not usually open on Sundays. But staff worked 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday in order to provide a cool shelter for local residents. Library staff had graciously hosted a packed house on Saturday, too. Many people headed to the library for a cool place to spend the day reading, and to use the Internet and free Wi-Fi.
Betty Carper faced a big cleanup after Friday's high winds. Three large trees in her West Springfield yard lost major limbs. "It looked like a war zone," said Carper's friend Rose Rogers.
Friends and family joined forces for nine hours on Saturday and another five hours on Sunday to trim and bundle the debris along the curb for pick-up. Carper said the team only stopped for a short lemonade break. She was grateful for the help.
A Hillside neighborhood resident said he was thankful for the crews from West Virginia and North Carolina working along Old Keene Mill Road on Sunday afternoon. "This happens all the time," he told Patch, referring to the loss of power in his neighborhood. "I've told our county supervisors many times the power lines in this area need to be moved underground, because we lose power every time there is any kind of weather event," he said. With the extra help from the out-of-state crews, this man was hopeful he and his neighbors would have their power restored before Monday morning.
Tell us your neighbor helping neighbor story in the comments section, and add a photo to our gallery.
Keep up-to-date with the latest local news. Subscribe to Burke Patch daily and weekly newsletters!