The Richmond Register

Local News

March 2, 2012

County spared from major storm damage

MADISON COUNTY — Storm warnings blared several times Friday afternoon and as waves of tornadic storm system made there way across central Kentucky and through Madison County, but the county escaped major damage.

By 7:15 p.m. the storms had passed, said Carl Richards, director of the county’s Emergency Management Agency.

A flood warning remained in effect until 9:50 p.m.

“We had some damage, but no injuries,” Richards said. “We were very fortunate compared to many others in Kentucky. We got the information out, and the public heeded the warnings,” he said.

Several sections of the county, including Baldwin, Kirksville, Red House and White Hall, were pelted with torrential rain and golf-ball sized-hail.

Hail stones broke some windows in the Madison County EMS station off Duncannon Road. EMA officials were to inspect another damage report along Duncannon Road and one on KY 1016 northeast of Berea on Saturday morning, Richards said.

The county road department was inspecting roads Friday night to verify they were clear.

The storms reached Madison County about 5:30 p.m., hovering over individual areas before moving east.

Wind gusts of up to 60 mph were recorded by the Kentucky Mesonet site in Madison County at about 6 p.m.

In addition to the warning sirens and the “weather box” radio in homes and businesses, the media helped keep the public informed. Because very few people called the EMA for information, Richards said he believed all involved did a good job of disseminating information.

Berea Community and Model Laboratory schools dismissed students at 1 p.m., and the county schools followed at 1:30 p.m. Berea College dismissed at noon but Eastern Kentucky University remained in session. Richmond city government employees were released at 3 p.m. but county workers remained on the job.

The Regional Basketball Tournament girls’ games scheduled for Friday night at EKU’s Alumni Coliseum were rescheduled, but the Richmond Area Arts Council’s Irish Festival went ahead in “the-show-must-go-on” fashion.

The EMA issued updates throughout the afternoon, advising residents how to prepare for the storm and when to take shelter.

Four tornado warnings were issued, along with several more severe thunderstorm warnings, Richards said.

Four "safe stations" were set up where mobile home residents were advised to wait out the severe weather. About 20 to 30 people sought refuge at each, including Richmond’s First Christian Church, Flatwoods Christian Church and Church on the Rock.

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