Severe Storm Batters Western Monongalia County, Causing Widespread Damage

A severe storm with straight-line winds hit Western Monongalia County, West Virginia, on May 9, 2024, causing widespread damage and disruption. The storm resulted in 24 reports of downed trees, 16 reports of downed electric lines, and 4 reports of flooded roads, but no reported injuries or fatalities.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Severe Storm Batters Western Monongalia County, Causing Widespread Damage

Severe Storm Batters Western Monongalia County, Causing Widespread Damage

On Thursday evening, May 9, 2024, a severe storm with straight-line winds battered Western Monongalia County, West Virginia, causing significant damage and disruption. The storm resulted in 24 reports of downed trees, including two that fell on structures in Westover and along Route 7 West, 16 reports of downed electric lines, 4 reports of flooded roads, and 1 report of a flooded structure. Fortunately, there were no reported injuries or fatalities.

Why this matters: Severe weather events like this storm can have a significant impact on local communities, causing damage to infrastructure and disrupting daily life. Moreover, the increasing frequency and intensity of such events due to climate change highlight the need for communities to be prepared and have effectiveemergency response systems in place.

According to National Weather Service Meteorologist Mike Kennedy, the storm started as a major cell with rotation that collapsed and formed two strong thunderstorms. The warning was issued by the National Weather Service at 6:17 p.m., giving residents in the affected areas, particularly Blacksville, about 30 minutes of lead time to take cover. NWS spotters began reporting tree damage around 6:50 p.m., and by 7:21 p.m., the storm was in full swing, with calls pouring in to Monongalia County MECCA 911.

Executive Director Jim Smith of Monongalia County MECCA 911 stated,"We went out this morning to look at some areas where we had cut down trees... We don't detect any twisting in the trees. We do not discover that the tops of the trees are missing. It looks like the trees actually fell straight down. "This assessment indicates that the damage was caused by straight-line winds rather than a tornado.

The storm affected several areas in Western Monongalia County, with Kennedy noting, "It appears most of the damage occurred from Little Indian Creek Road, which came toward town along Route 7 in the Core area, to Westover, and then jumped into Morgantown – around Toms Run Road, we had a report of a fallen tree." Other affected areas included Blacksville, which was right in the middle of the warning area.

The severe storm that struck Western Monongalia County on May 9, 2024, caused widespread damage, with numerous reports of downed trees and electric lines, as well as flooded roads and a structure. The timely warning issued by the National Weather Service provided residents with ample time to seek shelter, likely contributing to the absence of reported injuries or fatalities. As the community assesses the damage and begins the cleanup process, the straight-line winds that caused the destruction serve as a reminder of the power andunpredictability of severe weather events.