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Rainstorm rolls through area; flood watch issued

By Staff reports
Kenny Kemp
Cars, trucks and SUVs navigate wet roads near the Montrose exit of Interstate 64 in the South Charleston area Wednesday. A flash flood watch remained in effect until at least 1 a.m. Thursday for Kanawha and several other surrounding counties.
Kenny Kemp Poor weather conditions contributed to an accident near the junction of interstates 64 and 77 in Charleston Wednesday morning.
Chris Dorst Dressed appropriately, Bruce Wilson pedals through the rain on Second Avenue to his home on Charleston's West Side Wednesday.
Kenny Kemp A man crosses a wet, rainy Summers Street on Wednesday afternoon.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A rainstorm with high winds hit the Kanawha Valley Wednesday morning, knocking down some trees and contributing to several accidents -- and the area might not be done with weather problems yet.

The National Weather Service had issued a flash flood watch until 1 a.m. Thursday morning for 26 counties, including Kanawha, Roane, Fayette, Putnam, Lincoln, Nicholas, Boone, Clay, Logan and McDowell. Meteorologists expected 1 to 2 inches of rainfall and warned of standing water on roadways and rising rivers and streams.

Wednesday morning's storm rolled through Putnam County after 9 a.m. and reached Charleston at about 9:40 a.m. The rain and winds contributed to several accidents, including one where three of the four eastbound lanes of Interstate 64 were closed in Charleston near the junction with Interstate 77.

Several trees were reported down, including one that closed the 1400 block of Pennsylvania Avenue in St. Albans. The street was reopened after about an hour.

Kanawha County Metro 911 dispatchers received reports that a tree had fallen in the 100 block of Sigmon Fork in Sissonville. Also, lines were down in the 1000 block of Belmont Street in Charleston and on Maple Street in Dunbar, according to dispatchers.

At 2 p.m., more than 1,500 Appalachian Power customers in West Virginia had lost electricity, according to the company's website. That included more than 300 customers in Greenbrier County and nearly 300 in Fayette County.

By about 7 p.m., Appalachian Power was reporting about 1,865 customers without power, with about 1,450 in Wayne County. About 410 customers were without power in Mingo County.   

Reedy Elementary School in Roane County closed at 11:15 a.m. because the power was out, according to the state Department of Education.

Putnam County dispatchers said the storm brought heavy rain and winds but that there hadn't been any major problems.

However, part of an awning at West Teays Elementary School in Hurricane was blown off, school officials said.

Temperatures in Charleston were above 70 degrees Wednesday morning before the storm blew through, but had dropped below 60 degrees by 11 a.m. and continued to drop throughout the day and night. Snow is predicted Thursday afternoon.


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