(09/17/2010)

Power company responds to Grantsville after transformers crash

Grantsville firemen respond to Main Street
location where a transformer fire was reported

By Bob Weaver

The apex of the vortex of bad weather and utility meltdowns struck Calhoun Thursday evening.

The incidents did not seem to be related.

Perhaps the most threatening news was a tornado warning for the northern part of the county (not a just a watch) although severe lightning and heavy rain swept through the area. Calhoun 911 said they did not receive any reports of weather related problems.

In Calhoun, lightning constantly lit up the sky, illuminating heavy, rolling clouds. There was some hail.

At Hur, the family cat went bonkers, climbing the screens and wanting into the house, recalling the old belief that animals have an unusual sense of impending problems.

By 9:30 p.m. the National Weather Service canceled the tornado warning.

In Wirt County, early reports say at the Chuck Whited place on Two Ripple (WV 5) to mouth of Chestnut Run, there is severe storm damage.

One resident said, "sounded like a freight train was coming down the Little Kanawha."

Trees and poles were blocking the road and one car was hit with a tree, the occupants of the car not injured.

Some reports say there is damage to some homes, but too late to assess during the darkness.

Wirt County DOH, fire department and the power company have responded.

Officials in Wood County are saying that one person was killed Thursday night when severe thunderstorms and winds swept through southern Wood County, ripping down power lines, overturning vehicles and leveling homes along W.Va. 68.

The Parkersburg News is reporting that the Wood County 911 center set up its mobile command unit near the former Humphrey School, which was being used as a triage center.

Most of the damage is in the Belleville area.

Wood County Sheriff Jeff Sandy said, "There is about a half-mile sweep of devastation we are just beginning to go through. Homes have been leveled to the ground. You would not believe the wreckage."

Sheriff Sandy is saying many are injured, with most reports calling it a tornado. A tornado was reported in the Reedsville area, with major tornado damage in Athens County OH.

GRANTSVILLE HAS ELECTRIC PROBLEMS

Electrical transformers, some reports saying five, in the Main and Mill Street areas of Grantsville went out, some of them burning and some power lines falling down about 5:30 p.m.

The Grantsville VFD and Grantsville Police Department responded to the areas, following what local residents said was a power surge that could be heard downtown.

The power company responded to the outage and had service restored rather quickly.

A Grantsville police cruiser shown near a
dangling power line near the Calhoun library

PHONES DOWN IN SOUTHERN CALHOUN

Shortly after 5:30 p.m. most of the phone service in southern Calhoun went out, the 655 exchange.

Frontier had most of the service restored by 9:30 p.m.

The cause of the outage was not learned.

A couple incidents happened during the 655 exchange outage, a residential fire alarm went out on Rt. 16 and the Upper West Fork VFD was dispatched, with no fire.

A car wreck on Sand Ridge was radioed to 911 during the outage, there was no injuries, with Deputy Sheriff J. D. Smith responding.


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