At least 4 tornadoes touched down in Central Kentucky

High winds topple trees, knock out power in Lexington and nearby cities

jkegley@herald-leader.comApril 21, 2011 

Several tornadoes damaged buildings and toppled trees in Kentucky and Southern Indiana early Wednesday during a storm that hammered several states, according to the National Weather Service in Louisville.

No injuries have been reported.

All of the confirmed tornadoes were classified EF-0 and EF-1, the least destructive on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.

In Franklin County, an EF-0 tornado with 70 mph winds damaged trees and pulled shingles from roofs about 1:30 a.m., said Mike Callahan, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service. The tornado traveled about 4 miles, touching down about a mile southwest of Frankfort and lifting off several miles east of the city.

According to the National Weather Service, the path of the tornado was about 30 yards wide. The most serious damage was found near Frankfort Cemetery and the Capitol building.

A stronger tornado caused significant damage in Scott County. An EF-1 tornado, which was on the same path as the Frankfort tornado, leveled buildings on a horse farm on Leesburg Road, Scott County Emergency Management director Jack Donovan said.

An uninhabited trailer was flipped onto its roof. An open-ended horse barn collapsed, and other outbuildings suffered minor damage. Across the street, a dramatic drop in atmospheric pressure accompanying the tornado caused a garage to explode outward, crumbling a wall and damaging a foundation, he said.

Just northwest of La Grange in Oldham County, a brief EF-1 tornado damaged two barns and took a huge hardwood out of the ground when it swept just 80 yards across the ground.

In Simpson County, near Franklin, more than 100 trees were snapped and the contents of a destroyed barn were tossed near the junction of U.S. 31 and Ogles Street. Winds reached up to 95 mph and the tornado traveled 3.3 miles, according to the weather service.

In Lexington, high winds toppled trees and ripped branches, and knocked out power to many homes.

About 1,000 Kentucky Utilities customers in Lexington lost power during the storm, KU spokesman Cliff Feltham said. About 450 more lost power in the Georgetown and Versailles areas.

Power to all but about 10 homes was restored by Wednesday afternoon, Feltham said.

Thursday's forecast calls for partly sunny skies, with a high near 62 degrees, with slight winds out of the east. Showers are likely Thursday night, with a possibility of a thunderstorm. The low will be about 48. Rainfall should not exceed more than a half-inch.

Kentucky did not appear to be hit as hard as southern Indiana.

Two tornadoes touched down in Clark County, Ind., shortly after midnight, according to a news release from the weather service.

An EF-1 tornado, with winds reaching 80 to 90 mph, started in the Sunset Trailer Park north of Jeffersonville, where 90 mph winds damaged more than 20 trailers. A brief EF-0 tornado also damaged trees and a shed in the area.

Winds in Floyd County, Ind., though not swirling, took the top off a car wash, uprooted trees and damaged chimneys in northern New Albany.

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