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Strong storm pounds Kanawha County

By Staff reports

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Several people had to be rescued in Kanawha County as a storm system packing heavy rain and hail hit the area Friday evening.

Many residents of Garrison Avenue could be without power until later today, Kanawha County Metro 911 dispatchers said.

Water that had been gushing down the deep drainage structure on Garrison began to recede after 9 p.m. Friday, a dispatcher said. Some homes on Garrison, and the street itself, had flooded.

Emergency responders rescued two people trapped by rising water along Garrison Avenue and Kanawha Two Mile Road. No injuries were reported.

For much of the evening, most of Garrison Avenue was cordoned off to pedestrians and motorists.

As of 9:30 p.m., approximately 635 homes and businesses in Kanawha County were without electricity. Even more in Fayette County -- about 660 -- were without service, according to Appalachian Power.

Police also responded to two vehicle accidents attributed to weather along Interstate 64 between the Oakwood Road and Montrose Drive exits.

One southbound lane of Interstate 77 was closed Friday night near the Edens Fork Road exit because of a mudslide and a downed tree.

Meteorologist Joe Merchant of the National Weather Service said the storm system was not connected to Tropical Storm Chantal. The slow-moving rainstorm developed over West Virginia earlier Friday. It lingered over Charleston, depositing heavy rain for an unusually long time, Merchant said.

"We're going to see the heaviest rainfall," he had said earlier of Charleston.

According to Merchant, people reported hail that ranged from a quarter-inch to 1-inch wide.

The storm was expected to move toward Southwestern West Virginia before clearing up this morning, Merchant said.


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