New Storm, New Damage ; Wind Destruction, Power Outages Reported

By Jake Jarvis; Rachel Molenda | The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, WV), July 14, 2015 | Go to article overview

New Storm, New Damage ; Wind Destruction, Power Outages Reported


Jake Jarvis; Rachel Molenda, The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, WV)


Wind damage and power outages were reported across the region Monday evening after a line of thunderstorms rolled through, adding to damage from a Sunday storm. National Weather Service meteorologist Dylan Cooper said that as of 5:51 p.m., the Charleston office received reports of damage from Teays Valley, Logan, St. Albans, the Kanawha City area of Charleston, Marmet and Elkview.

There also were reports of flooding in Huntington, Cooper said. Cabell County dispatchers said the viaducts and a few roads only flooded for a short time following the storm.

Cooper said the storms were a "squall line, or "a line of strong- to-severe thunderstorms, and they are generally very good wind producers.

The storms did not meet the qualifications of a derecho, which has to be a continuous set of storms for more than 244 miles and produce widespread wind damages with winds "in excess of 75 miles per hour, Cooper said.

"This is not a derecho, he said.

Monday's storms produced winds in the range of 60 mph, according to Cooper.

Although the storm was on its way out of the region around 6 p.m., Cooper said it was possible more could redevelop this morning and could be strong to severe.

Localized flooding also is possible with this resurgence, as the area's waters are already high.

"Our soils are saturated, and we can't really handle more rain at this point, Cooper said.

More than 44,000 Appalachian Power customers were without electricity Monday evening, including those who live in Mingo (4,274), Cabell (4,217), Wayne (4,127), Boone (3,222), Lincoln (1,267), Putnam (1,946), Kanawha (972) and Logan (1,863) counties.

By 10:30 p.m., all but about 1,447 Mon Power customers had their power restored.

The Kanawha Emergency Operations Center said there were several flooded roadways and power lines that were knocked down in the county. "No major structural damage occurred because of the storm Monday, dispatchers said.

A tree fell onto a vehicle in East Bank, dispatchers said.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin issued a state of emergency for Braxton, Webster and Wood counties Monday afternoon, .

Braxton County EMS Director Mike Baker said the county had been handling storm damage since Monday morning.

"We've been working all day on issues we've had here in the county, Baker said.

The county has seen "major road damage from high water and flooding, as have some of the county's railways. Main Street in downtown Sutton, the county seat, was covered with water.

Baker added that bridges leading to county residents' homes have also been washed out.

He said there had been no injuries related to the storms reported as of Monday evening.

Earlier Monday, Terrance Lively, spokesman for the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, said Webster and Wood were the counties hardest hit by Sunday night's storm. Webster County Memorial Hospital was damaged by rushing water and part of W.Va. Route 82, in Nicholas County, was shut down by a rockslide.

The governor also issued a "state of preparedness for 35 counties: Barbour, Boone, Cabell, Calhoun, Clay, Doddridge, Fayette, Gilmer, Greenbrier, Harrison, Jackson, Kanawha, Lewis, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Monroe, Nicholas, Pleasants, Pocahontas, Putnam, Raleigh, Randolph, Ritchie, Roane, Summers, Taylor, Tyler, Upshur, Wayne, Wirt and Wyoming.

Dale Hall, deputy director of the Webster County Office of Emergency Services, said the county's largest incident of damage was at the hospital. He said the ground in the area was already saturated from prior rainfall. Water came down off of a hill near the hospital and rushed across W.Va. Route 20, tearing up parts of it. State emergency officials said some of the roadway was completely washed away, but Hall said, "It's passable, but rough.

The water continued on and flooded the basement of the hospital around 5 a.m. …

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