Extreme Weather in USA on June 25 2019 12:55 PM (UTC).
A severe thunderstorm led to "a couple" of reported tornado touchdowns Monday evening in Charleston and South Charleston, according to a Kanawha Metro 911 dispatcher. The tornado warning, issued for a storm moving north from the Alum Creek area, was posted for Charleston and South Charleston at about 6:45 p.m. and was in effect until 7:15 p.m. In that time, and in the 30 minutes after, emergency dispatchers received dozens of reports of downed trees and power poles throughout Charleston. According to Appalachian Power's outage map, there were widespread power outages throughout Kanawha County, with thousands reported in Charleston alone around 8 p.m. The outage map showed 20,452 customers without power in Kanawha County a little after 8:30. A dispatcher said emergency responders were sent to "a few" rescue calls, mostly from people trapped in cars or affected by downed trees. Damage assessments were still underway at the time of publication, and official reports on potential injuries were not yet available. "It is my belief that a tornado touched down in several areas of the County. This will be verified by the National Weather Service, however, based on the damage we are seeing and pictures that have been provided it appears a tornado touched down in Kanawha County," County Commission President Kent Carper said in an emailed statement. The hardest hit areas were Corridor G, South Hills, the Kanawha State Forest, and Pinch, according to the email. The storm saw passengers shelter-in-place at Yeager Airport, according to an email from the airport. The main terminal building and the Capital Jet Center were operating on backup generators Monday evening. Travelers were urged to give themselves extra time when driving to the airport because of downed trees in the area. James Zvolenski, the lead forecaster at the National Weather Service's Charleston office, said around 7:35 p.m. that "the worst is over" for the storm. At that time, there was still an active storm at the northeastern end of Kanawha County, moving northeast toward Roane and Clay counties. Dispatchers warned those in the Charleston and South Charleston areas to watch for debris in roadways and to stay vigilant for potentially high winds. Zvolenski said the Weather Service's Charleston office will compile all the data it received from reports on Tuesday, and release a comprehensive storm survey later.