National Weather Service confirms 4 EF-1 tornadoes while surveying Kentucky storm damage | News

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — The National Weather Service has confirmed four EF-1 tornadoes hit the Louisville area Wednesday night.

Thursday morning, the agency upgraded damage found just west of Bardstown Road that was caused by an EF-1 tornado.

“Latest preliminary storm damage in Jefferson County reports at least 95 mph EF-1 damage on Providence Drive in the Glenmary Reserve neighborhood. More to come,” an update from the Louisville National Weather Service states.

John Gordon, a spokesman for the National Weather Service, said late Thursday morning that he estimated that the tornado had winds of at least 97 mph and was roughly “150-ish” yards wide, though he added that further investigation could prove it to be larger.

“We’ve been looking at tree damage, barns, houses,” he said, adding that a lot of windows had been blown out. He said that it was, “kind of a mess.”

Later Thursday afternoon, two EF-1 tornadoes were confirmed in Shelby County and a fourth EF-1 tornado in LaRue County. All of the tornado confirmations are preliminary. 

“I’m so thankful no one was injured, or worse,” he said. “Everybody keeps telling me about trampolines. Trampolines go anywhere. I’m not worried about trampolines as long as they don’t hit people.”

That said, he pointed to two wooden planks jutting out of a nearby home, saying, “look at the missiles. There are two missiles.”

“If you are there, it’s flying debris that kills people,” he said. “It has always been flying debris.”

Gordon said he was thankful no one died in Wednesday night’s weather as opposed to the fatal tornadoes that took place in Kentucky in December. He attributed this to the fact that the tornado near Bardstown Road was smaller and to the public seeking shelter. 

However, he noted that some chose to take unnecessary risks.

“There were two cars I know of that were on Bardstown Road that were hit,” he said. “I can’t imagine how they’re alive. A vehicle offers you no shelter whatsoever, and they’re very, very fortunate. I’d be on my knees thanking someone.”

Gordon said when he saw the sun come out Wednesday afternoon, “I cussed, I think,” because he knew the instability would lead to wind shear and possible tornadoes.

“We’ve been quiet for nine years,” he said. “Nine years, it’s been quiet. And we were so overdue. I hope it’s always in a field in Kansas, but I believe we’re gonna have a very active severe weather season through the early June.”

Gordon and other representatives of the agency were out on the ground in Kentucky counties on Thursday inspecting storm damage from Wednesday night and determining whether that damage was caused by straight-line winds or tornadoes.

According to a map released by the agency, there are four stretches of damage they will likely be focusing on. The National Weather Service confirms that crews are already on the ground on Beardstown Road, near the Glenmary area.

Crews are expected to investigate four tracks of damage:

  • A track that runs from eastern Jefferson County, through Shelby County and into Franklin County
  • A track that runs from southern Jefferson County into southern Shelby County
  • A track that runs from southern Ohio County into central Grayson County
  • A nearly 100-mile track that runs from southern Grayson County, through the southern parts of Hardin and LaRue counties and into northern Marion County

Gordon reiterated that it’s important to seek shelter during any severe weather activity.

“We’re preaching. The media is preaching. I’m preaching. I want people to take shelter,” he said. “The one in December, people were telling me, ‘Well, I was at a Christmas party. I was here. I was there. I have a weather radio but it’s been off for years.’ I try to preach preparedness all the time. You know, flooding. People still drive through flooded roads. Turn around, don’t drown. Lightning. When thunder roars, go indoors. When you have warnings, when weather service and it goes through media and you issue warnings, seek shelter for god’s sake! Have a plan for you and your family so you can live another day!”

The NWS ended its survey Thursday night, but will continue Friday morning in Spencer County.

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