CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Strong winds late Thursday and early Friday left thousands of people in West Virginia without power on Friday.
About 8,400 Appalachian Power customers were affected, with most issues in the western part of the state, according to Appalachian Power spokesman Phil Moye. By late Friday afternoon, that number was down to fewer than 1,200.
Fewer than 100 First Energy customers didn't have electricity late Friday afternoon; most of them were in Doddridge County.
Appalachian Power crews from other areas came to help restore power faster, Moye said.
Wind gusts of 71 miles per hour were recorded at 2:30 a.m. Friday on Bee Mountain in Kanawha County, according to the National Weather Service.
Kanawha County Metro 911 received dozens of reports of downed trees and power lines in the early-morning hours, with the most damage being reported between 2 and 3 a.m., according to a dispatcher.
Elk Elementary Center on Pennsylvania Avenue canceled classes Friday because of no power. School buses were already en route before it was reported that the school was without power and had to turn around to send students back home, according to Kanawha County school officials.
Clay County sent all of its students home shortly after 10 a.m. because of power outages.