Monday, June 04, 2001

Twister rips into London, Ky.; 4 hurt

The Associated Press

        LONDON, Ky. — Officials in Laurel County are picking up the pieces after a tornado touched down Saturday and smashed homes and a shopping center along a 2-mile stretch.

        Four people were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

        No deaths were reported, officials said Sunday. One woman who had been report ed missing was found to be in Clay County, police said.

        According to John Pelton of the National Weather Service in Jackson, a tornado warning was issued at 6:09 p.m. for Laurel and Clay counties. The weather service got its first report of a touchdown at 6:17.

        In a matter of minutes, the tornado destroyed the

        Carnaby Square shopping center and several dozen homes.

        Four utility poles were blown down in the Carnaby Square area, cutting power to 500 to 1,000 customers, said Cliff Feltham, spokesman for Kentucky Utilities.

        While damage was most severe in London, the storm had started causing problems further west, weather service officials in Jackson said.

        High winds knocked down trees along Ky. 1677 near the Pulaski County community of Conrard about 5:55 p.m.

        By 7:15 p.m., the storms had moved into Leslie County, but were weakening.

        State police in Harlan reported severe thunderstorms, but weather officials said the storm had left Kentucky by 8:30 p.m.


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- Twister rips into London, Ky.; 4 hurt