Storms that went through West Virginia Friday damaged the Old White TPC course at the Greenbrier Resort, three days before the scheduled start of the Greenbrier Classic. Jim Justice, owner of the Greenbrier, scrambled to repair the heavy damage and asked the community for help.
In an ironic twist, storms also forced the PGA TOUR to delay the start of Saturday’s third round of the AT&T National at Congressional in Bethesda and ban volunteers and spectators from the course.
Justice vowed to have everything back in place at the Greenbrier by Monday and he asked for help from the community.
“The Greenbrier Classic has an urgent need for volunteers to help pick up debris, twigs, leaves, etc. around The Old White TPC today,” the Beckley Register Herald newspaper posted on Facebook.
“We’re not going to let this (storm) beat us,” Justice told the Register Herald. “We want to put everything back in place the way it was. We have the greatest show on earth coming Monday. Now is the time for West Virginians to show what we are made of. We need as much help as we can get.”
The plea was not well received by many of the Beckley newspaper’s Facebook followers, many without electricity and facing a hot day with spoiled food in the refrigerator. The plea was called insensitive by some but others pointed out the economic impact the Greenbrier Classic tournament has on the area.
American Electric Power posted the following statement on their website about the widespread damage:
“In West Virginia, 323,000 of the company’s half-million customers are without electric service as a result of the storm. In Virginia, 234,000 of the company’s half-million customers are without electric service. Damage assessment specialists are fanned out across Appalachian’s service area assessing damage to electrical facilities. The information they are gathering is being used to determine the level of resources needed to restore service, and to provide restoration estimates. Simultaneously, line workers are clearing known safety hazards and working to repair outages that affect critical infrastructure or large numbers of customers.”
Although the Greenbrier Resort did not lose power, residents of Beckley, about an hour away, reported many stores and gas stations closed because of the lack of electricity. Many fans traveling in for the tournament stay in Beckley since the hotel at the Greenbrier is reserved for players and sponsors.
Rosalie Thompson will be covering the Greenbrier Classic live from the Greenbrier Resort for ovalpike.com. Follow Rosalie on Twitter @RThompsonwriter. Her articles will be posted at PGA TOUR Examiner.