Windstorm knocks out power along Grand Central Avenue

VIENNA – An autumn windstorm knocked out power to more than a dozen businesses along Grand Central Avenue in Vienna Friday.

Ken Batty, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Charleston, said an autumn cold front whipped through the Mid-Ohio Valley with winds reaching 61 miles an hour. The gusting winds snapped at least four utility poles along Grand Central Avenue, resulting in the loss of power to a number of businesses.

Trucks from Mon Power, CAS cable, Suddenlink and Frontier were parked along the road working on the lines.

Jody Purkey, with the Wood County 911 Center, said Grand Central Avenue -between 16th and 19th streets -had lines down that temporarily closed the road and bogged down morning traffic. Early-morning motorists were detoured around the area. Traffic on the five-lane stretch of road was slowly opened to two lanes (one in each direction) as crews worked to replace the damaged poles, lines and transformers.

Purkey said emergency crews were busy as the storm blew through the area around 2:30 a.m., but only Vienna suffered any major damage.

“Vienna was the only place we have known of for severe damage,” Purkey said. “In the county we had a few downed trees. Nothing major.”

Batty said the storm lasted for approximately two hours with winds ranging from 40 to 70 mph. Winds in our region peaked at 61 mph at the Wood County Airport at 2:43 a.m.

“It was a good measure of how well you can sleep,” Batty said. “Some slept through it, others didn’t.”

Mon Power reported 25,000 people without power following the Friday morning storms. According to Bo Wriston, with the Wirt County Office of Emergency Services, more than 4,000 people in the region were without power. Most of those was concentrated to Wood and Ritchie counties. There were more than 700 reported outages in Roane, and 307 in Wirt. Jackson and Calhoun counties had about 100 reported outages each.

James White, with the offices of emergency services in Ritchie County, said they also had downed trees but no significant damage.

“We escaped the big storm,” he said.

Batty said the mild temperatures and rain for trick or treat were a good indication of the impending storms. Area temperatures will continue to slowly cool down.

“We will see an autumn chill with light rain showers,” he said. “Not the best of outdoor conditions for late autumn chores.”