- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 12, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Strong winds have knocked out electricity to more than 21,000 customers across West Virginia.

Appalachian Power says on its website that about 20,500 outages Wednesday were spread across eight counties, including more than 7,000 customers without power each in Fayette and Wayne counties. The outages forced some schools to close early.

FirstEnergy says about 1,800 customers had no service, including more than 1,000 customers in Roane County.

The National Weather Service issued an advisory for strong wind gusts in most of the state, including a high wind warning in some southeastern counties until late Thursday morning.