Large trees were uprooted near the Opekiska Lock and Dam in Monongalia County Tuesday afternoon.
Hoppy Kercheval/MetroNews
Large trees were uprooted near the Opekiska Lock and Dam in Monongalia County Tuesday afternoon.

SMITHTOWN, W. Va. – The National Weather Service confirmed a tornado touched down in Marion and Monongalia counties during Tuesday’s storms.

“It was a small EF-1 tornado but it could still do some damage,” Meteorologist Brad Rehak with the National Weather Service in Pittsburgh said. “Maximum wind speeds of 90 to 100 miles per hour, path width was just 50 yards and it touched down intermittently over a two mile length.”

According to a release, the estimated time the tornado was active started just before 3:30 p.m. and the damage was surveyed from just west of County Road 73 near Smithtown through two miles northeast to Little Falls.

No fatalities or injuries have been reported as of Wednesday night but one structure sustained minor damage along Opekiska Road where a tree fell through the roof of a garage.

The National Weather Service used different factors to determine the status of the tornado once the damage was surveyed.

“The extent of the damage and the type of damage and the direction from which the damage looks like the main wind pushed it, the debris in certain directions,” Rehak said. “Then you can come up with a general idea of if it was a tornado or straight-line wind damage.”

The lowest category of tornado is EF-0 with max wind speeds between 65-85 mph and the highest category is EF-5 with max wind speeds reaching higher than 200 mph. Tuesday’s tornado was an EF-1 tornado, categorized as having max wind speeds between 86-110 mph.

“This is typical of nearly every tornado in our area,” Rehak said. “Rarely do we have tornadoes much stronger than this. They do happen but this is a fairly typical tornado when we do receive them.”

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  • Jim - Morgantown

    Much thanks to the power company employees who worked throughout the night and next day to restore power.