SEVERE WEATHER: Storm Slams Huntington; Power Still Out for Many

By: WSAZ News Email
By: WSAZ News Email
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UPDATE 11/1/13 @ 6:15 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The last thing Melissa Rucker thought when she went to bed Thursday night is that she'd wake up Friday morning and have to move.

By Friday afternoon, Rucker was moving out her salvaged belongings after a tree came crashing down on her home.

"I'm just grateful we're alive," Rucker said. "It felt like an earthquake. It was so scary, I kept thinking, 'Oh my gosh, we're going to die.' "

The severe storm that barreled through the region left just as quickly as it blew through town. The National Weather Service estimates winds of more than 60 mph blew through Cabell County just after 2 a.m. Friday.

"We had an enormous amount of calls," Cabell County 911 Director Mike Davis said. "The derecho of last year probably raised the fear level a bit, thinking that we were having the same thing."

As of early Friday evening, AEP reported more than 3,000 people were still without power in Cabell County.

For Melissa Rucker, it means now having to start over. "It's hard not knowing what to do next or what the next steps are." Rucker says. "So now we have to think about what it is we're going to do."

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Winds up to 70 miles per hour swept through Huntington early Friday morning, knocking down trees and taking out power lines throughout the city.

A number of schools in Cabell and Wayne Counties are closed Friday.

In Cabell County the schools are:
Huntington High School
Cabell Midland High School
Ona Elementary
Salt Rock Elementary
Hite Saunders Elementary
Geneva Kent Elementary
Meadows Elementary
Huntington Middle School
Southside Elementary
Altizer Elementary

In Wayne County the schools closed are:
Wayne Elementary
Wayne Middle
Wayne High School
East Lynn Elementary
Genoa Elementary
Prichard Elementary
Spring Valley High School
Buffalo Elementary
Buffalo Middle
Ceredo Elementary
Ceredo-Kenova Middle

According to AEP, the highest number of outages are in Cabell and Wayne Counties.

A tree fell into a power pole along 13th Ave. near Ritter Park about 2:30 a.m., causing both to crash to the ground and taking out power lines.

The strong winds stripped away part of the roof and a whole section of the side of Neighborgall Construction’s main office building on 12th Street and 7th Avenue.

Firefighters checked through the building to make sure nobody was inside.

A fleet of Mountaineer Gas vehicles are parked next to the building. Firefighters say damage to them was minimal.

There is no power in the area surrounding the Cabell County Courthouse, and power outages are being reported throughout the Tri-State region.

A number of schools in Cabell and Wayne Counties are closed Friday.

Emergency crews are scattering throughout the area.

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