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Heavy rain in area takes down trees, causes auto accidents

A large portion of West Virginia was under a tornado watch Monday as high winds and heavy rains passed through the area.

Monongalia, Marion and Preston were among the 41 counties included in the alert.

By mid-afternoon, Gov. Jim Justice declared a State of Preparedness for all 55 counties in West Virginia.

A press release read, in part, “with this declaration, the State Emergency Operations Center increased today at (noon) from Steady State to Enhanced Watch.

A State of Preparedness allows the West Virginia Emergency Management Division (WVEMD) to position personnel and resources for quick response to potential emergencies. Coordinating agencies also were placed on standby to report to the State Emergency Operations Center if needed.

In Monongalia County, thunder, lightning and heavy rain punctuated the afternoon and evening, following periods of bright sunshine in the morning.

AccuWeather also warned of hail and flash flooding due to the quick, heavy downpours.

Emergency crews were kept busy by downed tree limbs and other debris in roadways across the region.

The skies should be calmer today, with breezy conditions and temperatures in the low 80s.