October exits with strong storms leaving behind downed trees, power outages

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Severe thunderstorms moving their way across West Virginia Thursday afternoon downed trees and power lines and caused street flooding in some areas.

The storm map was active Thursday afternoon.

The National Weather Service issued a number of severe thunderstorm warnings stretching from McDowell County in the southern coalfields to parts of Harrison County in north central West Virginia.

As of midnight Thursday, Appalachian Power was reporting more than 18,500 customers without service including 4,000 customers in Kanawha County. The company said more than 1,000 customers each in Boone, Lincoln, Logan and Raleigh counties were without service.

Appalachian Power said it expected another round of heavy winds Thursday night which could increase outage numbers. The company was still evaluating its response Thursday evening.

“High winds could hamper our ability to respond immediately,” a news release from Appalachian said. “We cannot safely make repairs while trees and limbs are still falling, and cannot safely work from buckets or on poles while wind gusts are still dangerously high.”

Mon Power and Potomac Edison reported more than 9,200 customers without power in West Virginia at midnight Thursday.

The National Weather Service in Charleston said the top recorded wind gust was on Bee Mountain in Kanawha County at 57 mph at 2:17 p.m. Thursday. Winds clocked at 49 mph at Yeager Airport in Charleston Thursday afternoon. Gusts in the high 40’s were also recorded at the airports in Buckhannon and Beckley.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Ross Giarratana said temperatures would fall once the storms move through.

“It’s going to quickly cool things down as the winds turn more westerly-northwest. So we’ll go from upper 60’s to maybe 70 this afternoon to upper 40’s low 50’s by Friday afternoon,” he said.

Thursday night lows were expected to be around 30 degrees.

Thursday afternoon’s heavy storms passed through Kanawha County at about the time school was scheduled to be dismissed for the day. School system officials decided to shelter students in place for a additional half hour past the regular dismissal times so the storms could move through.

Kanawha County Schools gave the all clear at 2:40 p.m.

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