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Weekend storm knocks out power to thousands

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Doors blow in on fire station in Simpsonville

By Lisa King

A severe thunderstorm that roared through Shelby County Saturday night left downed trees everywhere and even completely destroyed several bay doors at the Simpsonville Fire Station.

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“Three of our bay doors can’t be repaired; they will have to replaced,” said Simpsonville Fire Chief Ronnie Sowder.

The chief added that the damage was not the result of downed trees, but rather, wind damage.

“The wind just buckled those doors,” he said.

The storm also knocked out power to nearly 6,000 households in the eastern end of county for at least three hours Saturday night, after the storm struck, utility officials said.

“Lightning hit one of our substations behind Kroger  at about six-thirty and we lost power to about 4,000 households,” said Bob Price, team leader for Kentucky Utilities. “It was mostly in the eastern part of the county, but we also had some people out in the Simpsonville area and along La Grange Road.”

Price added that most customers were without power for about three hours, but some few residents were without power until Sunday evening.

Candi Waford, spokesperson for Shelby Energy, said the storm knocked out power to 1,900 customers in the northeastern portion of the county. Like KU, lightning was the culprit, at least in part.

“We had lightning damage to a substation, and we had multiple broken poles from downed trees,” she said. “We had everyone restored by Sunday night, but we still have crews out repairing damage,” she said Monday.

The National Weather Service reported that the damage from Saturday’s storm was caused mostly by strong, straight-line winds that gusted up to 65 miles per hour. It grew from the same system that caused a stage to collapse and kill five people at the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis.

The storm continued along Interstate 64 through Louisville, Shelby, Frankfort and into Lexington, producing wind damage along much of its path, the NWS reported.

There were reports of numerous downed trees all over the county, some of which were blocking roads.

The storm was not kind to farmers either, said Jim Ellis, director of MORE (Maintain Our Rural Environment).

“The corn is flat on the ground; it just blew it completely over at the Case brothers’ farm, Paul and David Case,” he said.

The Cases have a farm in Pleasureville.

Ellis said that farmers in that area sustained crop damage from the storm, a statement that Shelby County Agricultural Extension Agent Brett Reese agreed with.

“I don’t know a lot about the extent of it yet, so I can’t give you any numbers, but it seems to have mostly affected farmers in Jim’s [Ellis] area, in the northern part of the county,” Reese said.

“The repercussions are, if corn or tobacco are blown down, it’s much harder to harvest, and the yield is smaller,” he said.