Storm knocks down power poles, trees in Fayette; two tornadoes confirmed elsewhere

Herald-Leader Staff ReportJanuary 30, 2013 

A strong storm knocked down some power poles and trees in Fayette County on Wednesday and spawned at least two tornadoes elsewhere in the state, officials said.

The rough weather plowed through Kentucky early Wednesday, spawning one tornado in Marion County and another in Warren County, along with rain and stiff winds that sparked severe thunderstorm warnings in many areas.

The National Weather Service confirmed that an EF-0 tornado touched down in Marion County, knocking a trailer off its foundation and injuring two people. The second twister, an EF-2 with winds of 120 to 125 mph, caused damage in Warren County northeast of Bowling Green and might have continued beyond the county line, forecasters said.

The weather service planned to survey a dozen locations across Central Kentucky on Wednesday and Thursday for other evidence of possible tornadoes.

Ryan Sharp, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Louisville, said straight-line wind speeds exceeded 60 mph in some areas - including one gust around 67 mph. The storm blew through Lexington roughly between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. The system had moved through the state by about 11:30 a.m.

On Lexington's Old Richmond Road at Evans Mill Road, a tree was knocked down, said fire Maj. C.J. Haunz. Two power poles also were knocked down or heavily damaged, and power lines were down.

Old Richmond, in the southeastern area of Fayette, was closed between Jacks Creek Pike and Evans Mill for several hours.

On Briar Hill Road between North Cleveland Road and Hidden Lake Lane, two utility poles were knocked down, according to the traffic management center. Inbound traffic was diverted onto North Cleveland until Briar Hill reopened Wednesday afternoon, police said.

Another tree was knocked down on Henry Clay Boulevard between Menifee Avenue and Fairway Drive. A city road crew removed it.

The damaged power poles and lines caused some electrical outages. Power was restored quickly to some customers while others had to wait a few hours longer.

The Kentucky Public Service Commission reported about 8,700 power outages, with 6,200 concentrated in Barren and Hart counties in south-central Kentucky and the rest scattered about Eastern Kentucky. A few thousand customers were temporarily without power in Fayette, Clark and Woodford counties, Kentucky Utilities reported.

In counties west of Lexington, high winds led to scattered reports of damage to homes and buildings, said Buddy Rogers, a spokesman for Kentucky Emergency Management.

Marion County Emergency Management Director Hayden Johnson said a 32-year-old woman and 7-year-old boy sustained minor injuries when a mobile home near Campbellsville blew off its foundation. Johnson said no other injuries or damage had been reported.

In Metcalfe County, 1,000 homes were reportedly without power, Rogers said. Some damage to homes was reported in Western Kentucky in McCracken and Muhlenberg counties.

Damage also was reported in the Fort Campbell area, according to Associated Press. WTVF-TV in Nashville, Tenn., showed video of a tractor-trailer truck that was blown off Interstate 24 by strong wind near Oak Grove; the truck was on its side along the highway. The driver was not hurt.

Randy Graham, emergency management director in Christian County, said multiple outbuildings and barns were damaged and destroyed, along with two homes. A third home sustained major damage, but there were no injuries, Graham said.

Lexington Herald-Leader is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service