Commonwealth Journal

Local News

March 26, 2013

Tornado caught Ferguson residents by surprise

Fergsuon —  

A photo captured by a Ferguson resident leaves no doubt about the violent storm that hit the small community on Sunday evening.
An image sent to Ferguson resident Tim Cooper’s cell phone shows a twister reaching down from the clouds and into the heart of Ferguson in the Waddle Street area.
Cooper and his family, who live on Bray Street, were not home at the time, but he said they were terrified when they saw the picture because their pets, Cooper’s father and his sister were all home at the time the tornado hit. 
“(The picture) was taken by a friend of mine and he sent it to my cell phone and told me ‘Tim, this looks like its heading into Ferguson,’” said Cooper. “‘You guys better take cover.’”
Experts on Tuesday released more details on the path of the tornado that tore through the residential area in Ferguson. 
The twister, which touched down at around 5:40 p.m. Sunday in the Waddle Street area just off Murphy Avenue, was deemed an EF-1 by officials with the National Weather Service (NWS) in Jackson, Ky.
Tornados are categorized according to the Enhanced Fujita scale, which categorizes tornado strength by peak wind speeds and amount of damage caused. Sunday’s tornado had winds estimated at 100 mph. 
In comparison, a tornado that, oddly enough, swept through almost the same part of Ferguson on January 30, was deemed an EF-0 tornado. That tornado packed winds of around 65 to 75 mph, and caused some downed trees and minor structural damage. 
That was the first tornado recorded in January by the Jackson Weather Service, which covers all of southeastern Kentucky and nearly all of eastern Kentucky. 
Sunday’s twister caught area residents by surprise, and the short, violent storm was already over by the time residents truly realized what had happened. Weather recognition equipment didn’t pick up the storm cell — in fact, it appeared to be just a rain storm on Doppler radar. 

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