WILLIAMSON — A sudden, sustained burst of wind before a brief but potent storm yesterday caused damage throughout the City of Williamson and knocked electricity out in parts of Pike County, Ky., and Mingo County.
In the city, a power pole was sent crashing down due to the rapid gusts of wind in the parking lot next to the American Legion building on Second Avenue. The Williamson Fire Department and Williamson Police Department responded.
“We think the wind was just strong enough to knock it over,” Firefighter Brandon Hager told the Daily News. “The base of the pole looks rotted out so that definitely contributed to it.”
The WFD taped the area off. There was no time-frame available as of presstime as to when it would be cleaned up.
A brief walk through Williamson showed the intensity of the pre-storm winds. Flags were whipping violently, trees were blown at a sharp angle pushing them up against nearby buildings, stoplights were dangling back and forth, dust and leaves were blown in circular motions and the signs of at least two local businesses, Hurley Drug and The Man’s Shop, were left hanging by a proverbial thread, clanging against the storefront windows. A large black trash bag was also seen atop a power pole on Third Avenue across from the Cinderella Theatre.
Nearby areas were also left a mess from the short-lived winds. Trees at both Chattaroy and Delbarton were reported to be blocking roads, apparently having been knocked down. 911 Dispatch was swamped with calls from around the the Tug Valley area.
Reports also came in to the Daily News of power outages across Pike County. As of presstime, nearly 17,000 people, 48 percent of Kentucky Power’s customers, were without power.
Across the border, a total of almost 8,500 people, more than 55 perecent of customers were in the dark.
State totals for people without power lists West Virginia at 301,748 and Kentucky at 60,000.