By Betty Gandee
Tornados and West Virginia are two things you don’t usually associate with one another, but severe weather roared through Clay County and surrounding areas on Monday, June 24. High winds uprooted several trees and left many laying on power lines, knocking out power to thousands and affecting more than 8,000 customers in West Virginia. As of Wednesday, most power was restored, although some stayed in the dark until late Thursday night.
In the aftermath of the severe storms, it was confirmed that an EF-1 tornado touched down in Alum Creek, WV and continued with 90+ mph winds for 11 miles. The width of this tornado was estimated to be 350 yards, while the path length was 11 miles. When the funnel cloud was spotted at the State Capitol in Charleston it was losing speed, and once it reached the Kanawha river it lost its tornado status. The high winds and force left many businesses in the Charleston area without power, causing them to shut their doors for the days to come.
The last confirmed tornado in WV was on June 22-23, 1944, only a day apart from the most recent, this one being named the 1944 Appalachians tornado outbreak, leaving 134 dead. The F-4 tornado touched down in Shinnston leaving 30 dead, two other intense tornados left 104 dead in WV at that time as well. This outbreak left West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland with damage from theses storms.