Commonwealth Journal

Local News

January 31, 2013

Small tornado hits Ferguson

Somerset —  

Officials confirmed a rare winter tornado touched down in one Pulaski County community early Wednesday morning as bloodcurdling sirens, wailing during uneasy predawn hours, signaled a strong squall line that swept through the area. 
“I just seen the damage,” said James Kriege, captain for the Ferguson Fire Department. “Trees one way, and another way ... it just looked more and more like a tornado.”
Pulaski County was under a tornado warning shortly after 6 a.m. yesterday as the storm moved across the area at a dangerous speed of between 50 and 60 mph. That line produced one confirmed twister, according to the National Weather Service in Jackson, Ky.
Officials with the NWS said Wednesday afternoon that an EF-0 tornado touched down in the Ferguson community at around 6:30 a.m. Wednesday. 
An EF-0 tornado packs the weakest punch, according to the Enhanced Fujita scale, which categorizes tornado strength by peak wind speeds and amount of damage caused. Wednesday’s tornado had peak winds estimated at 65 mph, and its path length was estimated at less than half of a mile. 
Kriege said he began to see signs that a twister had blown through the area soon after they began surveying damage in the community on Wednesday. 
That’s why he decided to contact the NWS, and it turns out, his hunch was right. 
“What’s really scary is I live just a block away,” said Kriege, who said a 10-by-10 foot metal dog pen in his yard was moved by the force of Wednesday’s winds.
Fortunately, no one was injured.
According to the preliminary report filed by the NWS, the tornado touched down near the end of the Lake Cumberland Regional Airport runway and took a northeastern path onto the Hyden Lane area — and one home there had at least some roof damage — and onto Ky. 3057. 

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