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Saturday's storm costly to farmers

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Estimated 15 barns damaged or destroyed

By Linda Ireland

Several areas of LaRue County were hit by a strong thunderstorm and high winds Saturday evening. According to the National Weather Service, the area was under a tornado watch until 10 p.m.

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Representatives from the NWS visited the county Monday and determined damage was caused by straight line winds that reached speeds of 50 to 70 miles per hour, according to Chris Jackson of 911/LaRue County Emergency Management.

According to an unofficial count at Fisher Auto Parts in Hodgenville, about 15 barns across the county were damaged or destroyed.

One of the hardest hit areas was along Ky. 222 and Harned-McCubbins Road between Tonieville and Glendale.

Dennis Dobson said his whole house was shaking when the storm hit about 7 p.m. His storm door started bowing from the wind and he, his wife and daughter went to the basement for shelter until it passed.

His house was undamaged but numerous outbuildings in the surrounding area were damaged.

Dobson and several of his neighbors spent the rest of the evening and Sunday assessing damage, cutting tree limbs away from the road and patching holes in fences so cattle couldn’t get out. Barns were flattened; large limbs and trees toppled; and debris was scattered over a large area.

Darrell Dobson lost a shed that was under construction; David Harris, the Boyd Brothers and Kevin “Red” McCubbin each lost a barn.

One of Wayne Dobson’s barns was flattened. A pair of silage wagons and a grain head for a combine stored inside were damaged. Another barn roof was damaged.

Bradley French’s barn appeared to have been picked up by wind and twisted. Beside it, a calf rubbed its head on the roots of a large tree that toppled during the storm.

Dennis Dobson said it must have rained about two-inches during the storm, but it was “hard to tell because it was all going sideways.”

On Dorsey Lane, Gary and Coochie Routt lost two older barns, a tool shed and a large storage building that housed construction equipment and farm machinery. A 1993 Chevrolet Camaro sustained some damage in the storm.

The couple took refuge in their basement “after Gary saw the tool shed blow away,” according to Coochie. “In a matter of seconds, it was over.”

Coochie said they felt fortunate there was no damage to their home. They are waiting for the fields to dry before picking up the debris scattered by the winds.

On Ky. 84, the fields surrounding Ryan and Misty Bivens’ house were littered with twisted metal torn from outbuildings.

The White City and Gleanings areas were hit also. The roof was ripped from Milby’s grocery and a garage at the adjoining residence was flattened. Several residents lost trees or large tree limbs.

A large tree toppled behind the cabin at the Lincoln Boyhood Home at Knob Creek and Ky. 84 (Howardstown Hill) was closed for a time as three utility lines fell over the roadway. Firefighters assisted with traffic control.

Many residents reported power outages for several hours.

LaRue County Deputy Russell McCoy said Magnolia and Mount Sherman had nickel-sized hail. Some Magnolia residents lost electricity for a few hours as well.

There were 54 tornado reports across the South Saturday with two verified in Kentucky in Edmonson and Mercer Counties.

No injuries were reported in LaRue County.

Cooling temperatures and rain are hampering clean-up efforts.