MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – One hundred mile-per-hour wind gusts ripped the roof off of Hazel’s House of Hope during Sunday night’s severe thunderstorm. The damage was so severe that there were questions if it had been caused by a tornado that went through the area.
The National Weather Service’s Weather Forecast Office out of Pittsburgh sent a Storm Survey Crew Monday morning to inspect the damage to what was the old Ramada Inn on Scott Avenue in Morgantown.
NWS Pittsburgh’s Warning Coordination Meteorologist Fred McMullen said the storm produced winds blowing at 60-70 miles per hour at ground level, but 45 feet above that, winds were estimated to be between 90 and 100 miles per hour.
Those damaging winds ripped the roof off the building and even displaced a 2500-pound air compressor 120 feet off of its base.
McMullen finished his investigation and came to this conclusion regarding last night’s severe thunderstorm:
“There’s no tornado warnings issued last night from Mon County. What we saw was kind of a bow echo kind of coming through at this point it transitioned into this, a line of storms moving east. Again, when those things move through places, they bring everything down in one direction, so all the damage here was kind of facing to the east and that’s how we determined it was straight-line wind.”
Crews were out repairing the damage to the roof of Hazel’s House of Hope Monday afternoon. According to the National Weather Service and local officials, no injuries were reported.
There is a chance for more severe thunderstorms in north central West Virginia this week. Stick with 12 News and Stormtracker 12 for the latest on severe weather.