Storm Blows Through Kanawha Valley; Metro 911 Struck by Lightning

By: Brooks Jarosz Email
By: Brooks Jarosz Email

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A new round of severe weather blew through the Kanawha Valley Thursday causing even more power outages and a slew of damage.

Stormy skies and wild winds barreled though before heavy downpours of rain. It put a stop to many of the repairs to power and telephone lines.

Traffic lights were out in several spots including Maccorkle Avenue between Patrick Street and the University of Charleston. Police are reminding drivers to come to a stop at every light and to treat it like a stop sign.

"Everybody's just got to put their patient hat on and be a little more friendly," Assistant Police Chief Robert Houck said.

A large sink hole kept the road closed on Brooks Street, crumbling following the heavy rains.

On Virginia Street, strong winds left power lines dangling and several blocks closed for safety reasons.

One of the biggest concerns may have been at the Kanawha County Metro 911 Center where a lightning strike caused the phone lines to go down.

For several minutes, 911 lines were being lost.

An alternate center has been set up and activated at the Kanawha County Emergency Ambulance Authority. Workers are taking calls by hand and dispatching through portable radios.

"It's a little bit more challenging but we're staffed really well up here now," Metro 911 agency coordinator Rick McElhaney said. "It took us a few minutes for everybody to get up here. We have fully functional 911 lines and radios."

Utility crews are still working on repairing the non-emergency lines. If you have an emergency you can call 911.

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