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High winds knock out power to thousands in W.Va.

November 1, 2013
Associated Press

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — High winds from severe storms knocked out power to thousands of customers in West Virginia on Friday and brought down part of a popular pumpkin display in Kenova.

Appalachian Power said at least 19,000 customers were without electrical service Friday afternoon, down from at least 29,000 earlier in the day.

The most recent outages included more than 8,000 homes and businesses in Cabell and Wayne counties.

The high winds brought down trees and power lines and caused a roof to collapse at a Huntington business early Friday. The National Weather Service said wind gusts were measured as high as 66 mph in Clarksburg, 62 mph in Huntington and 61 mph in Parkersburg.

Schools were closed or delayed opening in at least 11 counties.

The winds also brought down a wall that held dozens of jack-o-lanterns at the residence of Kenova Mayor Ric Griffith known as the Pumpkin House.

Griffith said the mess was being cleaned up so the display that includes thousands of carved pumpkins on his property could reopen Friday night.

No one was hurt and Griffith said he slept through the storm.

"I went to bed last night with the pumpkin display and woke up with a teenager's bedroom," Griffith told WCHS-TV ( "It has been everywhere. The wall was blown over. We had put a barrier in front of it, did a little reinforcing. But not enough apparently for the volume of wind that we received last night."



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