CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The National Weather Service has sent two teams to survey storm-damaged areas of West Virginia and eastern Kentucky to determine whether tornadoes occurred, a meteorologist said Tuesday.
Meteorologist Maura Casey in Charleston said one team is looking at damage reported along a wide area in Kanawha (KUH-naw) and Lincoln counties in West Virginia and in Louisa, Kentucky.
In Louisa, Lawrence County Emergency Management Director Michael Woods said a Walmart store roof sustained damage, several vehicles were overturned and some minor injuries were reported Monday.
Store Manager Marty Bishop said more than 50 employees and customers were inside when the storm hit. Media outlets report merchandise inside the store was tossed about.
“When you start moving 50-pound bags of potting soil into the air and overturning vehicles, it’s a pretty serious wind,” Louisa Mayor Harold Slone said.
In Lincoln County, a thunderstorm ripped off a church steeple and tore shingles and siding off homes in the community of Yawkey.
“It was just a scary situation,” homeowner Ronald Brumfield said. “It was just white. I mean you couldn’t even hardly see. Then the trees, they just started going everywhere.”
Casey also said there were reports of damage from the same storm in the Kanawha County community of Loudendale south of Charleston.
She said a second storm team is surveying storm damage in the northern West Virginia communities of Lost Creek, Jane Lew and Philippi.
About 2,800 Appalachian Power customers had no electricity on Tuesday morning in southern West Virginia, including nearly 900 in Wayne County and 700 in Lincoln County.
The storms came 11 days after devastating floods in West Virginia destroyed at least 1,500 homes, damaged 4,000 others, caused $36 million in damage to roads and killed at least 23 people.