6:00: Morning News

Weather causes widespread damage in Jefferson County

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. — An isolated line of thunderstorms Friday evening in Jefferson County caused widespread damage and host of problems for residents and emergency responders.

“We had a total of 24 calls from 4:28 p.m. until 9:36 p.m. Most of them from 4:30 to 5:00, ” said Steve Allen the Director of Jefferson County’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

The calls were for downed trees, live powerlines, and five separate structure fires, two of which were very serious.

“The first fire call was at about 4:50 and it was to the county’s Day Report Center. The fire took the roof off the building,” Allen explained.

The Day Report Center is in Ranson, where the bulk of damage from the storm was reported. Subsequent fire calls came for a transformer fire in Ranson, a house with smoke showing in the Summit Point Community, and another minor fire was reported. All of those blazes were blamed on downed power lines and trees which damaged electrical equipment. There were live wires reported down all over the county.

A fifth structure fire call came from the Steeplechase Subdivision near Shenandoah Junction around 9:30 p.m. Allen said nobody was at home at the time of the fire, but it was fully involved when firefighters arrived. The home was a total loss. It’s unclear if the fire was weather related, but crews were already stretched thin by that point.

Additionally, Allen indicated there were multiple calls for power poles on fire along with significant wind damage. A survey of the area Saturday revealed a number of structures with damaged roofs and siding. There were multiple trees down as well.

“In that five hour period we still had seven EMS calls on top of all of the storm calls. It was crazy for a while. There was mutual aid throughout the tri-state area. Units from Berkeley County, Jefferson County, Loudon County and Clark County in Virginia and Washington County in Maryland had units coming over to assist,” said Allen.

Damage assessment continues this afternoon. Despite the widespread damage across all of Jefferson County, there were no reports of any injuries.

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