PARKERSBURG - In a summer of wild weather swings, another hot day ended with a heavy downpour and winds that disrupted electricity in several areas.
Across Ohio and West Virginia law enforcement and emergency responders reported only a few blocked roads and no traffic accidents.
Jeff Hovis, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Charleston, said there is a chance of more severe storms today, but it is a small chance.
Photo by Jolene Craig
A large tree was felled during the storm Thursday across West Virginia 14 in Williamstown. The tree blocked the north and southbound lanes of traffic near Fenton Park.
"There may be a few but they will not be as big as what you had Thursday and less widespread," he said. "The high Thursday was 94 degrees and today the temperature will be in the upper 80s and 84 degrees on Saturday."
A dispatch supervisor at the Wood County Telecommunications Center said only one downed tree was reported - on Williams Highway in Williamstown.
Police said the tree was downed by strong winds near Fenton Park blocking Williams Highway, also known as West Virginia 14. Both lanes of traffic were blocked as of 9:30 p.m.
Williamstown Mayor Jean Ford said the tree was too large for the city's equipment to remove and a state Division of Highways crew was called in to clear the highway.
In Jackson County, a tree was downed by strong winds at 7 p.m. on White Pine Road in Kenna but was cleared within the hour, said a Jackson County 911 dispatcher.
In Washington County, a dispatcher with the sheriff's department said no roadway blockages were reported despite reports of downed trees.
A mudslide was reported to the Ohio State Highway Patrol in Marietta. A dispatcher said the slide on County Road 11 and Ohio 831 was cleared by the property owner before a trooper was on scene.
A traffic light was out in Hamar Village at the Putnam Street Bridge during the storm.
Monongahela Power reported several power outages throughout Wood and surrounding counties Thursday night. However, the outages fell far short of the outages seen after the June 29 derecho swept through the area.
Wood County had 125 customers without power, with nearly 70 of those in the Parkersburg area. A dozen customers were affected in Washington and Williamstown, and 10 people were without power in Ravenswood.
Doddridge County had 230 customers without electricity, with 358 people without power in Ritchie County. Jackson County had 208 people without power, and 375 were without electricity in Pleasants County.
In Tyler County, 1,216 customers were without power, 324 in Wirt County, 319 in Calhoun County, 35 in Roane County and less than five in Gilmer County.
Appalachian Power reported 1,176 of its customers in Jackson County were without power Thursday night as were 311 in Roane County.
American Electric Power Ohio reported several outages. According to the company's web site, there were 780 customers in the dark in Washington County, 615 in Athens County and 2,900 in Morgan County.
During the storm around 7 p.m., Parkersburg Fire Department responded to VanDevender Middle School on 31st Street to a call reporting a possible structure fire. The incident turned out to be a small leak on the gas regulator in the school, said Capt. Mark Kunselman, with the Parkersburg Fire Department.
The gas company responded and repaired the vent. Officials did not know if the leak was storm related.
"There was a small flame near the vent, but not a major problem," Kunselman said.
Earlier in the day, valley residents were dealing with another day of temperatures in the mid-90s. Local hospital officials said they have not seen many cases of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Loni Collins, clinical nurse manager in the emergency department at Camden Clark Medical Center, Memorial Campus, said there are many things to do to avoid heat stroke.
"The main thing with the heat is to take frequent breaks during the day with six to eight glasses during the day," she said. "Avoid caffeine and sugary drinks and alcohol that can add to dehydration. It's good to take the breaks and avoid direct sun."
Collins said for many the best way to keep from having heat stroke is to stay where you have access to air conditioning and avoid outdoor exertion or exercise until the late evening or morning.
"The elderly and children are at highest risk," she said. "Children don't realize they are too hot, their bodies are smaller and they lose fluids faster. The elderly are a concern due to health problems and medications. Check on people especially those without air conditioning that can't get relief from the heat."
Collins said as of Thursday there had been only a few cases of heat stroke in the emergency department.
Jennifer Offenberger, director of marketing and public relations at Marietta Health Systems, said symptoms of heat stroke include muscle cramps, heavy sweating or suddenly stopping sweating, weakness, nausea or passing out. She said it is important to seek medical help as soon as possible.
Collins said there are some things that can be done while waiting for help to arrive.
"Mostly provide a safe area and padding for the head and try to move that person to shade if possible," she said, "If they are conscious, try to give them cold water, but don't do that if they appear to be sleepy or disoriented. Cold compresses are a good idea."
Hovis said Saturday through Monday will be dry with temperatures in the mid to upper 80s.
"You will see a gradual cool down, but it's summer so it will heat up again," he said.