CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Following storms across the state Wednesday, the National Weather Service has determined some of the damage was caused by “straight-line” winds rather than tornadoes.
Storms uprooted trees, destroyed buildings and caused power outages. More than 90,000 Appalachian Power customers in West Virginia were without power following the storm. The company has asked crews from other states as well as other companies to assist in restoring services.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “straight-line” winds are different than tornadoes because of how the wind damages objects.
National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Kistner says state saw winds up to 65 miles per hour as the storm moved across the state, adding systems like these are not usually seen until mid-April.
“It’s definitely a little abnormal being the time of year,” Kistner said.
According the Kistner, the system that passed through West Virginia was fueled by warm air and moisture.
“If it did come through a little later in the day and we were warm up a little bit more, it would have probably been a little more intense than what we saw,” Kistner said. “Luckily, it came through the time that it did.”
Kistner said the agency is planning on conducting more investigations soon, including in Nitro, where winds bent poles and sent signs crashing to the ground.
“They (Meteorologists) had some other reports across the area that they went out and investigated,” he said.
All public schools in Braxton and Fayette counties will be closed Thursday due to power outages.