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Thunderstorms Pound West Virginia With Wind, Rain and Hail

April 10, 1991

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) _ Near hurricane-force winds shattered windows, flung trees across roads and dumped hail on portions of West Virginia on Tuesday, killing two people, including an infant, and injuring dozens.

″We have an emergency room full of people. I’m in the midst of setting up our disaster system,″ said Jacqueline Settle, a nursing supervisor at Charleston Area Medical Center.

More than 15,000 customers in southern West Virginia were without power, said Jack Shaver, a spokesman for Appalachian Power Co. Hail fell in the western and central parts of the state, the weather service said.

″We have everything going on in the county you can possibly imagine,″ said Frankie Chapman, a dispatcher for the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department. ″We have trees down, houses with their roofs torn off, power lines down and roads blocked.″

A 4 1/2 -month-old was killed in Charleston when high winds knocked his grandparents’ trailer off its foundation and the mobile home rolled down a 20- foot embankment, authorities said. The grandparents were taken to Charleston Area Medical Center.

Charles H. Fahrenz, 41, of Huntington, a drivers’ education teacher at Barboursville High School, was killed when the barn he was working in collapsed in high winds near Greenbottom, police said.

At least 60 people were taken to hospitals.

The storm blew in suddenly.

In Charleston, the temperature dropped 26 degrees as the weather system passed through, but the sun came out about 90 minutes after the storm hit.

″One of the reasons there’s so much wind is because the storms are moving so fast,″ said Lee Czepyha, a meteorologist in Charleston.

In Kentucky, tornadoes and high winds damaged mobile homes and sheared off roofs of stores and shopping centers, authorities said.

Scattered power outages were reported. There no immediate reports of injuries.

National Guard troops were sent to Simpson County in south central Kentucky, where a state of emergency was declared with winds exceeding 70 mph.

Thunderstorms and wind up to 60 mph caused scattered damage across Ohio, knocking down power lines and forcing the temporary closing of some public buildings, authorities said. No serious injuries were reported.

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