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Storm damage reported in Preston County


A Monday afternoon storm in Preston County, that may have been part of a tornado toppled trees and knocked down powerlines.

Storms inched into the area just after noon and unleashed heavy rain, hail in some areas and high winds.

Mon Power Spokesperson Hannah Catlett said they were watching the storm and were able to take quick actions to limit the number of outages due to the storm.

“The severe weather that rolled through has affected about 23,000 customers so far,” Catlett said. “Mon Power quickly restored power to 5,000 of those people, and we’re out there working as quickly and safely as possible on those remaining 18,000 people.”

The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning at 1:17 p.m. in the Terre Alta area.

Preston County E-911 Assistant Director Justin Wolfe said they had multiple reports of trees and power lines down, wind damage and a structure fire that may have been caused by a lightning strike. There were also several reports of small fires caused when power lines fell and those were controlled by rain.

“It showed some signature rotation on the radar about 5,000 feet up,” Wolfe said. “We have not received any official reports of any funnel cloud sightings or anything like that.”

As of 4 p.m. Monday, Mon Power reported more than 3,000 outages in Marion County, 2,400 in Preston County, 1,400 in Monongalia County, and not quite 1,000 in Harrison County.

“A lot of the damage was done in the Marion County area, it looks like Fairmont had a substantial amount of outages there,” Catlett said.

Wolfe said they had no reports or eyewitness accounts of funnel clouds. The nature and strength of this storm will be determined following an investigation by the National Weather Service and Preston County E-911 officials.

“We’ll take a look at any damage reported to us or to them, and we always consult with them to see if there is any evidence of a tornado or if it is straight-line wind damage,” Wolfe said.

There were no injuries reported. Damage assessments are underway.