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Hazardous weather continues across the region

By Greg Jordan, Bluefield Daily Telegraph

HICO, W.Va. — Preliminary findings from a National Weather Service team’s survey show that southern West Virginia had a tornado touch down earlier this week, the service announced Thursday while power company crews were working to restore service to thousands of customers.

Meteorologist John Peck with the National Weather Service in Charleston said while no official statement had been released yet, a team surveying damage confirmed Thursday that a tornado had touched down Tuesday in the Hico area of Fayette County.

Preliminary evidence indicted the tornado was an EF2 category event with winds up to 130 mph.

Today’s forecast for the Mercer County area includes rain and snow showers before noon followed by rain with a high of 43 degrees. Less than a half-inch of snow is possible. Wind gusts as high as 25 miles per hour are possible today and tonight.

Fayette County was in a State of Emergency Declaration earlier this week along with the counties of Kanawha, Lincoln and Nicholas due to thunderstorms that brought downed trees along with power outages. Parts of Route 19 in Fayette County were closed for a time after high winds knocked down trees and power lines.

Work on restoring power continued Thursday in Fayette County and across much of West Virginia. Representatives of Appalachian Power reported “significant progress” Thursday on getting electricity back to customers.

Over 3,800 of Appalachian Power’s storm response workers were focused on getting the power back on after an additional 100 workers arrived Thurday from Ohio to join the effort. Outages peaked at 125,000 Tuesday afternoon after winds as strong as 90-plus miles per hour in West Virginia were reported.

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