Storms pound area

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Area residents had their pick of bad weather Thursday. The Tri-State was hammered with everything from record high temperatures to violent thunderstorms.

Alan Rezek, meteorologist with the National Weather Service Office in Charleston, W.Va., said a band of thunderstorms that developed over eastern Kentucky moved through the immediate Tri-State during the early evening hours, dumping a half-inch to one inch of rain.“With it coming down in such a short time it may have seemed like a lot of rain,” Rezek said. “That’s because when it did rain, it was pouring.”

The storms also brought strong winds that ripped limbs from trees and snapped utility lines.

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Suzanne Priore, spokeswoman for American Electric Power, said at the height of the storm, 2,000 customers in the Ironton area and an additional 250 customers in the Chesapeake area were without power.

She said service had been restored to most areas as of this morning and she anticipated complete restoration by 4 p.m. today.

Buckeye Rural Electric Cooperative also reported some outages because of lightning during the storm.

The violent weather also pounded parts of Kentucky and West Virginia as well. Residents in Boyd, Greenup, Lawrence and other counties in Kentucky lost electricity last night during the storm. Utility crews will spend this morning restoring service and repairing storm damage.

Danny Bond of Coryville Road in Upper Township, will spend today with a chainsaw in hand. The storm toppled a 100-foot tree from his yard onto his porch.

“The tree was so big when it went down it took out 15 feet on my sidewalk,” Bond said.

Two other trees on his property were uprooted as well. And no doubt his neighbors are commiserating. They have storm damage of their own to clean up.

“It looks like something touched down out here,” Bond said.

Though the thunderstorms sent mercury plummeting, yesterday began with high temperatures. In some places, new records were set. Rezek said Huntington, W.Va., posted a high of 103 degrees Thursday. That is six degrees higher than the temperature posted for that date back in 1954. Charleston, W.Va., also set a record.

“We were cooking yesterday,” Rezek said. “We had hot temperatures and severe weather. It was cooking yesterday.”