Tornado watch in effect for several counties
CHARLESTON -- The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for several West Virginia counties until 9 p.m. tonight.
The watch is in effect for counties including Kanawha, Cabell, Lincoln, Wayne, Jackson, Mason, Wood and Putnam. There is also a flash flood warning in effect for Pocahontas and Preston counties until 4:45 a.m. Thursday.
The warnings came after heavy rainfall knocked out electricity to many homes in the state and caused several road closures Tuesday night and early Wednesday.
According to Appalachian Power, more than 1,600 homes and businesses were without power by 2 p.m. Wednesday. A majority of those were in Wayne County, which had more than 1,000 people without service.
Earlier Wednesday morning, 7,000 customers were without electricity. Heavy rains and strong winds knocked out electricity to thousands of customers overnight, while repair crews struggled to restore power.
In all, 7,211 customers are without power Wednesday morning.
Kanawha County Metro 911 dispatchers said there were several accidents caused by the heavy downpour on Tuesday. Firefighters had to rescue an SUV that got stuck in high water on Falls Creek Road near Tornado. No one was seriously injured.