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Jefferson Co. storms kill cattle

Ranson city officials ask for disaster declaration from W.Va.

Ranson city officials ask for disaster declaration from W.Va.

June 06, 2008|By DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.VA. -- Four cattle were killed during Wednesday's torrential storm in Jefferson County when a barn along Kabletown Road collapsed on the animals, according to the county's emergency manager.

The owner of the cattle put the animals in the barn to protect them from flying debris in the storm, Barbara Miller said.

When the barn collapsed, three pregnant cows and a young bull were killed, Miller said.

Two other pregnant cows that were injured had to be euthanized and two other injured cows were still being assessed, Miller said.

Miller said she was not sure how many cows were in the barn, one of three destroyed on the farm.

"That was probably the saddest part of the day," Miller said Thursday after touring the county doing damage assessments from the storm.

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Miller declined to identify the owner of the animals. The farm was along Shannondale Lane, Miller said.

Miller said other damage observed Thursday was mostly less severe.

The storm struck in mid-afternoon Wednesday, causing significant damage in Ranson, W.Va.

The storm hurled tree limbs into the side of the Church of Christ at Ranson on Chapel Drive and sent a structure used to store shopping carts in the parking lot of The Home Depot flying into a car.

Numerous homeowners in Ranson dealt with large trees uprooted in their yards and other damage.

On Thursday, Ranson city officials asked for a disaster declaration from the state, Miller said.

Once damage estimates are determined, the declaration may be used in an attempt to obtain money from the state for help in recovering from the storm, Miller said.

National Weather Service officials were unable to determine whether the storm was a tornado, meteorologist Jared Klein said Thursday afternoon.

Damage assessments were still being conducted and it will be today at the earliest before a tornado determination can be made, Klein said.

Miller said she has not observed any evidence of a tornado.

Jim Mauser of Ellicott City, Md., e-mailed The Herald-Mail Thursday to relate his account of the storm.

Mauser said he was driving along the Charles Town Bypass next to the shopping center where The Home Depot is when his car was struck by conduit pipes flying through the air.

Mauser said he assumed the pipes came from a construction site.

"I couldn't see in front of me," Mauser said in a telephone interview.

Mauser, who pulled into the shopping center to wait out the storm, said the flying pipes caused extensive damage to his Acura TL and police suggested that he not drive the car home.

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