Minor damage reported after night of storms

July 14, 2004|LIZ MAPLES

Trees bore the brunt of the thunderstorms last night.

Nobody was injured, but power lines blew and the electricity flux caused false alarms at homes and businesses, according to city and county officials.

Emergency alerts sent many to their basements in between 9 -10 p.m.

Lennie Shepperson, Boyle County director of emergency management, said there was not a lot of real damage, but trees fell all over the county.

The usually manicured lawns on Cloverdale and Carrigan drives were littered with Maple leaves and branches.

Judy VanArsdall was watching TV in her den around 10 minutes to 10 p.m. She saw the red alert on the TV, and ran to her kitchen window to look. At that moment, the wind blew the windows out of her sunroom, pulled a hutch through one window, and sent a cake plate on her table crashing to the ground.


"I said, 'Oh, my Gosh.'"

"I just thank the Lord that we're all OK."

This morning members of VanArsdall's church and neighbors helped her clear trees off the lawn.

"Honey, We all take care of everybody 'round here," she said.

County and city crews will remove branches and trees from roadways and rights-of-way, but property owners will need to clear branches from their own yards. The wood can be brought to the Perryville Convenience Center.

Robert C. Robinson loaded Maple branches from his house in a truck that was headed for that convenience center. He and his wife, Mary Jo, said they barely made it to the crawl space in their Cloverdale Drive home when the wind hit.

"By the time I got the back door closed, the wind hit," Robinson said.

He had a few branches down in the front yard, damage to his gutter and a few loose shingles on the roof.

In Boyle County there were about 20 calls about trees. On Gwinn Island Circle a tree blew over on a power line and the top caught fire, Shepperson said.

He was out until 1 a.m. surveying the damage.

Lancaster Police and Casey County Central Dispatch reported trees and power lines down, but nothing severe.

In Mercer County, various areas suffered power outages and trees and tree limbs briefly blocked roads for drivers. Power lines were down and there were power outages in Burgin. There were trees on or across U.S. 68 near Chinn Lane, on Norman's Camp Road, Mackville Road, East Office Street, Newby Court, Mobley Road near King Middle School, Old Lewis Road and Dry Branch Road.

Lincoln County authorities also reported a few trees down but no major damage.

The downed trees, limbs and power lines caused power outages to customers of both Kentucky Utilities and Inter-County RECC throughout the area.

Across the state, the storms knocked out power to thousands of electric customers.

No injuries were immediately reported.

Officials with LG&E, the state's largest power company which serves Louisville and surrounding areas reported that 86,000 customers had lost power in the storms.

"I'd say that's going to keep on escalating through the night. I would not be surprised if this got up to 100,000 or more," said Chip Keeling, a spokesman for the utility.

Kentucky Utilities reported about 8,000 outages in their coverage area as of 11 p.m. About a fourth of those were concentrated in the Lexington area, said spokesman Cliff Feltham.

Feltham said most of the outages were caused by blown circuits and would be restored quickly. He said the utility had only a handful of reports of downed power lines.

Feltham said the series of storms that ravaged Kentucky in late May caused more extensive damage.

"By comparison, this storm had the same intensity, but we don't have nearly the numbers (of outages) we had in May," he said.

Lexington-based Kentucky Utilities, a subsidiary of LG&E, serves more than 470,000 customers in 77 Kentucky counties.

Winds in excess of 65 mph were reported by the National Weather Service.

Various Advocate staff members and The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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