PRINCETON, WV (WVNS)–Ten years ago, a severe storm hit the Mountain State which left power outages, high water, and winds.

Most West Virginians remember the severe derecho that hit the state back in 2012.

Winds in the area reached 60 to 80 miles an hour and power was knocked out for 670,000 West Virginians. It took power companies almost a week to restore electricity for customers.

Sean Cantrell, CEO of Bluefield Rescue Squad said he remembers when a big country concert had to stop because of the weather.

“At the time the Second Chance concert was going on here at Mitchell Stadium so there were numerous amount of people up there that we tried to evacuate and get out of the weather. It even the wind got so bad it actually moved the stage a little bit,” Cantrell said.

Some counties in southern West Virginia were hit harder than others. The Greenbrier Classic, held at the Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, was canceled due to the storm.

Mercer County Commissioner Bill Archer who also works with the National Weather Service in Bluefield said he couldn’t believe what was happening. He said he remembers folks driving from Clarksburg to Bluefield in order to get gas.

“The wind was totally ferocious, it just swept through everything and it continued for what seemed like a long time,” Archer said.

Archer said the calm after the storm was eerie because there was little traffic and so many lights were out.
But, he said he believes counties are now better prepared to handle major storms like this.

“The technology has advanced and we’re getting better at it I think we’re better prepared for that kind of event because it was just an unusual weather phenomenon that came really and impacted at least half of the state of West Virginia,” Archer said.