Residents in the northern West Virginia community of Cheat Lake, a suburb of Morgantown in Monogalia County, say a possible tornado touched down this evening and has caused severe damage to businesses.
In a Facebook post, the Crab Shack Caribba, stated, “CHEAT LAKE got hit by the tornado this evening and that has caused severe damage to the restaurant. No one got severely hurt. We are thankful for that. Our thoughts are with anyone in the area that might be affected.
“We are closed for the evening. We apologize for the inconvenience. We have a crew coming that will be working round the clock to get the restaurant put back together for reopening tomorrow afternoon. Thank you for your patience and understanding. We are not going to let this tornado close us down for the weekend. See everyone tomorrow.
Another resident of Cheat Lake referred to the storm as a “micro-burst”, stating, “A micro-burst came in off Cheat Lake this evening and rolled up our street. The force of the wind gusts deformed the panels of my garage door. It also took out a street light, some trees and of course the power.”
Appalachian Magazine contacted the Mongonalia County Sheriff’s Office requesting comment regarding any reports of a possible tornado and were told that law enforcement officials had “nothing yet” to say pertaining to the possiblity of a tornado in their jurisdiction.
Morgantown resident Brooke Bolynard says, “Brandywine neighborhood off Tyrone Rd got hit hard too. There are trees and storm damage all over Cheat Lake.”
Earlier today, at least two tornadoes were reported in neighboring Pennsylvania, one in Fayette County and another in Washington County.
In addition to the community of Cheat Lake, Cheat Lake, the waterway, is a 13-mile-long reservoir on the Cheat River. The surface area of Cheat Lake is about 1,730 acres and is home to three marinas located towards the river end of the reservoir. Multiple photos on social media seem to indicate that at least some boats docked at the lake have been heavily damaged by today’s storm, the remnants of Tropical Storm Cindy.
This is a developing story and additional details will be added as they become available.
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