PARKERSBURG - Winds blew throughout the area Wednesday, knocking out electricity in Washington and Morgan counties.
The area was under a wind advisory for most of the day Wednesday, the National Weather Service in Chareston reported.
Winds were gusty throughout the day as colder air filtered into the area, the advisory said. Peak gusts of 40 to 55 mph were expected.
Strong wind in Parkersburg
The advisory was expected to last until 7 p.m. but was called off before 4 p.m. as the system moved out of the area, said Tim Axford, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Charleston.
Locally, wind gusts were reported at 18-20 knots, or a maximum of 23 mph, Axford said.
A wind advisory means wind gusts of more than 40 mph are expected, the weather service reported. People are advised to secure light-weight objects. Strong winds can make driving difficult.
Gusty winds in Parkersburg whip flags at the Shaver Judicial Annex as the wind advisories lived up to their billing Wednesday. (Photo by Jeff Baughan)
''The winds were up Wednesday, but tapered off by evening,'' Axford said. ''Once the sun went down, the winds were around 5-10 mph. We won't see that bump up again (Wednesday evening) and they shouldn't be a concern (today).''
The winds resulted in approximately 1,500 customers in Washington and Morgan counties being without power for a few hours Wednesday.
Around 6:30 a.m., a tree fell on an AEP Ohio transmission line that carried electricity to the Washington Electric Cooperative's Marietta substation, killing power for 843 customers, said Jennifer Greene with the co-op. Electricity was restored to those customers around 11 a.m.
AEP Ohio spokesman Jeff Rennie said 369 customers in the Layman area of Washington County lost electricity when the wind "took down a line." Similar incidents caused scattered outages elsewhere in the county, including Macksburg and Devola.
In Morgan County, 298 customers just west of Malta lost power when "a tree from outside the right of way contacted lines," Rennie said.
As of 1:40 p.m., AEP Ohio's website had no outages listed in Morgan or Washington counties.
A supervisor at the Wood County 911 Center said officials did not have reports or calls relating to high winds.
Wood County Administrator Marty Seufer said county officials took down the flag from the pole in Fort Boreman Park Wednesday.
The county was advised high winds with a flag on the pole could cause the pole to bend, he said. ''It will go back up (today) after the wind dies down,'' Seufer said.
A dusting of snow fell. Snow showers were expected through the evening.
''We are not really expecting much to accumulate,'' Axford said.
Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks issued a level 1 snow advisory Wednesday evening.
"We're starting to get accidents due to people going across bridges," he said. "We're in certain spots getting squalls, and we're getting a half-inch of snow."
Today is expected to be mostly sunny with a high near 32, dropping to a low of around 15 tonight as the skies remain mostly clear.