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Severe weather expected to move out by holiday weekend

By Charles Young

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The National Weather Service says the recent rash of bad weather in the Charleston area is expected to subside just in time for the holiday weekend.

Nick Webb, a meteorologist with the Charleston branch, said the storms experienced in the area over the past few days are the result of an upper trough, an elongated area of low atmospheric pressure, which traveled down from Canada to affect the entire upper-Mississippi valley region.

The area was under a flash food watch Thursday evening, but dry, cool conditions are predicted beginning Friday night. Those conditions should continue throughout the weekend.

"Once we get past the night (Thursday), we'll be fine through the weekend," Webb said.

Webb said storms Wednesday afternoon produced a microburst, sinking air in a thunderstorm with a scale of less than 2.5 miles, in Hurricane. When the microburst occurred at 3:30 p.m., winds of 70 mph to 80 mph ripped up trees causing damages to homes and property in an area 150 yards wide and for three-tenths of a mile. Residents reported temporary power outages. 

The storm destroyed two mobile homes and caused damage to two others in the Marina Park neighborhood of Hurricane, Putnam County Sheriff Steve DeWeese said. Two minor injuries were reported, including a sprained arm.

DeWeese said his office has also received reports of damages to a number of vehicles in the area, but exact numbers have not yet been confirmed.  

Scott Jones, who works at the Putnam Public Service District about a half-mile from Marina Park, said the storm only four minutes but was "extremely aggressive."

The Weather Service said a microburst could cause damage comparable to tornadoes.

The last reported microburst in the area was Aug. 15, 2010. A similar storm system with 75 mph winds uprooted 80 to 100 trees and caused damage to landscaping on the Sleepy Hollow Golf course. The debris from the storm caused several holes on the course to be temporarily closed, but did not shut down the course. 

Contact writer Charles Young at charles.young@dailymail.com or 304-348-1796


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