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Storm brings huge hail, downs trees

By Staff reports
Lawrence Pierce
Lightning hit a gas line in the Big Chimney area during a thunderstorm Thursday afternoon. Fire and gas officials were on the scene but could not put the fire out until the gas was cut off.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A strong thunderstorm blew through Kanawha County Thursday afternoon, bringing torrential rain, hail as large as a quarter and downing trees across the city.A Metro-911 dispatcher said that there were "trees down all over the place."In Kanawha City, a large tree was torn in half, either by lightning or high winds. Half of it fell on to Jennifer Minnich's Virginia Avenue house, damaging the roof."My daughter loved to climb that tree," Minnich said. "She's going to be pretty disappointed."Lightning struck a gas line on Hazel Drive in Big Chimney, causing a fire to burn in a culvert.
Early Thursday evening more than 2,600 homes in Kanawha County were without power, according to Appalachian Power. More than 250 homes in Boone County also lost power.Trees were blocking roadways on Greenbrier Street near Meadowbrook Acres and on the 100 block of Pinch Road in Elkview, among others.The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for Kanawha, Lincoln, Putnam, Cabell, Boone, Logan, Mason, McDowell, Mingo, Pleasants, Roane, Wayne, Wirt, Wood and Wyoming Counties.The warning is in effect until Saturday. 
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