Severe thunderstorm watch over

UPDATE: The severe thunderstorm watch is now over, but a flood advisory for parts of Shelby, Miami and Darke counties has been extended until 8:15 a.m. A flood warning is in effect for Randolph County until 8 a.m. And, another cluster of storms is developing to the northwest of the area. Those storms could bring high winds, heavy rain and lightning.

EARLIER STORY:

A new severe thunderstorm watch issued for most of the region will remain in effect until 7 a.m., the National Weather Service said.

The threat for more high winds remains a real one until about 3 a.m., said Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Jamie Simpson said. Even in a weakened state, the system bringing in the next round of storms may bring strong winds through early Thursday morning, along with possible heavy rain.

Thunderstorms that raked the region Wednesday night carried high winds, lots of rain, plenty of lightning and knocked out electric service to as many as 4,000 homes and businesses. At 9:15 p.m., Dayton Power & Light reported nearly 2,833 outages in Montgomery, 291 in Greene, 350 in Miami and 291 in Preble. The hardest hit area was in New Lebanon, where a main line from a substation was affected.

"With the strong winds that came through, we're looking for something that got into the power lines," said Kelly Millhouse, DP&L operations director. In the case of Greene, Miami and Preble, she said, "there have been a lot of individual outages in lots of places."

By midnight, several hundred outages were continued to be reported across the area, the bulk being in Greene, Miami, Montgomery, Preble and Clinton counties.

Millhouse said DP&L hopes to have service to all of its customers restored by noon Thursday.

According to Duke Energy, more than 300 customers in the area of Middletown and Franklin were in the dark at 9 p.m.

Weather spotters reported winds of up to 60 mph hail up to an inch in size, according to the weather service. Wind gusts from the storms tonight have ranged from 32 mph in Dayton to 50 mph in Beavercreek, Wilmington and Eaton.

Wednesday afternoon, thunderstorms deposited lightning, heavy rain and gusty winds in Logan, Shelby and Champaign counties.

A trucker reported to our newsroom quarter-sized hail along 235 north near U.S. 36 in Champaign County. A resident in Logan County sent us a photograph of a piece of new metal barn roofing that was ripped off and thrown from a neighbor's backyard to their front yard.

Thursday, look for more widespread showers and thunderstorms, said Simpson, thanks to a slow moving cold front. The high Thursday will be in the lower 80s and drop in the upper 60s Thursday night.

For Friday, expect showers and storms in the afternoon and evening. Simpson said most of the rain will come Friday evening.

The weekend looks to be the best days of the week. Humidity will drop and rain chances will diminish in the afternoon. Dry, cooler air will move in.

Sunday will be the best day of the weekend, said Simpson, with high's in the low to mid 80s.

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