HOMETOWN, W.Va. -- Parks and recreation officials in Putnam County had been working to make the Hometown roadside park a nice place to stop along W.Va. 62.
It was a nice place, parks and recreation director Scott Williamson said, much nicer than a few years ago, when it was an area that had become known for drug deals.
Then last summer's derecho struck. The severe windstorm dramatically hampered their efforts.
"It knocked us back about four steps," said Williamson, recalling the storm, which downed dozens of trees and crushed two picnic shelters at the park.
New grant money recently has been awarded to beautify the park, and Williamson said he's not giving up on making it something nice.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced this week that $65,600 from the Transportation Enhancement Program be used to install lighting, restrooms and decorative bollards at the park.
"I don't want anyone to think we're giving up on it," Williamson said. "We'll recover that park."
For now, though, more than a dozen tree stumps cover the grounds of the park. Picnic tables once protected by shelters are now vulnerable to weather.
The park was given FEMA assistance for the storm damage and Williamson is waiting to hear from the insurance company before he can make necessary repairs and then start on the upgrades the grant money will pay for.