FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) -- While Kentucky was spared from the brunt of severe weather that struck parts of the south over the weekend, the state did not escape unscathed.
It began Friday morning, when a confirmed tornado roared through Oldham County shortly before sunrise.
The tornado touched down at 6:45 am, two miles west-northwest of Pewee Valley, according to Ryan Sharp, a forecaster with the National Weather Service office in Louisville, who conducted the damage survey. Its path was 8.3 miles long and 300 yards wide, with estimated peak winds of 100 miles per hour, making it an EF-1 on the scale that measures tornado strength, which runs from EF-0 to EF-5.
Sharp says the tornado mostly did damage to the upper halves of trees along its path. “There were a couple of spots where it fully descended to the surface and caused more widespread damage. At one point, along Sunset Lane, multiple trees were snapped and/or uprooted, with debris wrapping around the circulation to the back side of a house. Farther east, along Shelburn Dr, a front porch with four columns was lifted, collapsing the columns and picking up the front half of the roof and sending it about 100 yards northeast.”
More damage occurred in the Curry Creek area, just off Camden Lane, according to Sharp. “The track then continued east northeast and damage became more widespread along Fox Trail Dr, and Moody Ln. In one location, the gutter of a tall house was ripped off and thrown 100 yards to the left of the track of the tornado. The tornado then caused a tree to fall onto a house off Wiano Dr. The last visible damage was on Georgie Way.”
The path ended about two miles west of Ballardsville.
About 45 minutes later, the storm system caused straight line wind damage in Gallatin and Kenton counties, according to the NWS Wilmington, Ohio office, which serves the northern Kentucky area.
In Gallatin County, winds of 70-80 miles per hour led to mainly tree damage, a barn which was collapsed, several outbuildings which were damaged, boat docks tipped over, minor residential roof damage including shingles and tin material removal, and numerous tree limbs snapped up with a few trees uprooted.
A survey conducted in Kenton County, near Erlanger and Edgewood, found damage toa garage roof which had been removed with wall collapse, and numerous homes with shingle/soffit/fascia/chimney damage and some tree damage. Damage was confined to mostly homes on higher ridges, and was consistent with wind speeds from 60 to 70 mph.
Saturday, things were quiet in Kentucky, with a severe weather outbreak in Texas, Mississippi and Alabama. At least eight people have been killed in those three states. There have been eight confirmed tornadoes, but that number could rise.
On Sunday, the eastern half of Kentucky was under a tornado watch through much of the afternoon and early evening, and while there numerous reports of trees down, the most significant damage occurred early Sunday morning at Lake Cumberland State Resort Park.
A tree was blown over and fell into a cabin at the park, which was occupied by six people. Four of them were reported to have suffered minor injuries.