Robin Hobbs house was hit hard by the storm. It uprooted two trees in her backyard and ripped the power lines right out of her house.
|©Danny Snyder / Times West Virginian
|Strong thunderstorms packing hail and winds estimated at between 60-80 mph uprooted trees in a narrow swath of Marion County from Fairview to just north of Rivesville Wednesday night.
"It started as a normal thunderstorm, but then all of a sudden it hit all four sides of the house with hail and rain and lightning," she said.
She took her family into the basement for safety. On Thursday morning, they found a mess.
"We didn't expect it to be this much damage," she said . The town was put under a state of emergency Wednesday night. Mayor Bob Riggs, who has lived in Grant Town his whole life, said he has never seen anything like this storm.
Trees fell on about five houses causing structural damage and 24 houses had the power lines ripped away. Residents say they are lucky it wasn't worse. No one was hurt in the storm, but even the National Weather Service agrees that the strength of the storm was unusual.
Chris McIntire works for the Marion County Emergency Serives. He surveyed damage and reported it to the Weather Service. "The people at the Weather Service said the hail was up to eight inches thick and it's some of the worst they have ever seen," he said. Now, the focus is on clean-up. Crews are cutting down debris and moving trees off houses and out of the roads.
Downed power lines are being restored, but it could be days before some customers have electricity.
The Red Cross is set providing meals to residents who still do not have power. They will stay as long as needed.
The mayor is asking residents to stay off the roads while clean-up continues and suggesting for residents to call their insurance company if they do have damage.