Local mayors speak to damage in their city after Tuesday’s storm

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. — Some cities throughout Kanawha County experienced the same severe storm system Tuesday but some of them reported different levels of damage in their initial assessment of the aftermath.

Amy Shuler Goodwin

In Charleston, Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin said the damage was substantial.

“A lot of damage, a lot of trees in the road, a lot of power lines down, a lot of power out,” she said.

Some buildings had parts of their roof blown off. Billboards, street signs and road signs were jolted too.

Mayor Goodwin expects storm damage clean up may last for multiple weeks and for some other communities outside the city, even longer.

“We’re going to be working for a long time on this,” Goodwin said.

Tuesday’s storm brought back memories of the derecho in June of 2012. South Charleston Mayor Frank Mullens remembers the derecho. He saw the similarities too.

“It was a little bit more wider and this one was more of a narrow path,” Mullens said. “The derecho seemed to be more spread out and city-wide, but they seemed very similar.”

Frank Mullens

Mullens took a trip through town following the storm’s departure and saw similar damage like what Charleston got, but not as severe.

“We came through pretty unscathed,” he said.

Mullens said he did learn about one injury in the city. A worker with a construction crew had been injured from the storm at a construction site on MacCorkle Avenue. The other significant report of damage involved the Gestamp plant. Mullens said the building’s roof suffered some significant damage.

Crews there were able to get roads cleared for travel Tuesday evening. A lot of limbs and branches from trees had found themselves in the middle of the road. Some traffic lights also stopped working or were knocked off their stance.

“Our main objective was to make sure we had all the roads as being passable,” said Mullens.

A large tree that was blow over in South Charleston Tuesday

City crews have been working hard while assessing the damage in the city Tuesday night. They’ll continue to be out and will monitor the area for much of the week.

“I can’t say enough good things about them,” Mullens said. “We’re going to be out there in full force.”

Mayor Mullens was also talking to AEP officials about the outage at Thomas Memorial Hospital. He made sure they addressed the situation there to get them up and running as quickly as possible.

Scott James

St. Albans Mayor Scott James said one section in particular in his city was hit the hardest. He said hillsides from Vine Street east towards Charleston experienced more brutal damage.

“It looked like it came up over the hill and came right through certain neighborhoods,” Mayor James said. There’s damage throughout the town but the hillsides got hit harder than the flats did.”

St. Albans residents experienced a lot of the same.

“We’ve got downed trees, downed powerlines, we’ve been cleaning up at my house, part of my roof was damaged a little bit,” James said.

St. Albans city crews are expected to continue clearing out roadways and assessing the damage. Thankfully, no reports of injuries came out of there.