CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Much of West Virginia is being impacted by bands of storms, bringing thunderstorms and heavy rainfall to areas already impacted by intense weather this week.
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch for a majority of the state as well as southwest Ohio for Thursday afternoon and evening. The watch has been extended to 1 a.m. Friday, due to concerns storms producing one to two inches of rainfall an hour.
According to the National Weather Service, similar systems will impact communities in the Northern Panhandle, Kanawha Valley, Eastern Panhandle and regions in-between.
C.W. Sigman, the director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management in Kanawha County, said the summer is typically an active period for storms.
“The derecho was in June, the Clendenin flood was in June,” he said. “It seems like every Fourth of July and every West Virginia Day, county employees are out working, taking care of the public because of some kind of weather hits.”
Heavy rainfall swept through Kanawha County Sunday, causing flooding in Cross Lanes and power outages across the county. Excessive heat during the week resulted in the county opening cooling centers at locations where power outages were the greatest.
According to Sigman, the cooling centers received little attention by the public.
“Most people just tough it out or go visit somebody or they’ve got generators,” he said.
More than 7,700 Appalachian Power customers are without power, including more than 2,800 in Kanawha County. Around 2,000 customers in Ohio County do not have service. FirstEnergy reported around 9:30 p.m. that 1,821 customers did not have power.