Saturday, July 07, 2001

Damage assessed from Ky. tornado

Meteorologist rates it weak

The Associated Press

        SOMERSET, Ky. — Pulaski County officials hope to have damage estimates calculated by Monday after a weak tornado damaged dozens of homes and businesses.

        Survey teams were spread out across the county on Friday, collecting information that will be compiled to produce an official damage estimate, said Stella Whitaker, office coordinator for the county's office of public safety.

        “I'd say we'll know something by the beginning of (next) week,” Ms. Whitaker said.

        Two mobile homes and 11 barns and sheds were destroyed and about 60 houses, 14 barns and sheds and two businesses were damaged, Ms. Whitaker said.

        Three people were injured when they fell as they sought shelter in basements or ditches and another was struck by lightning, but none of the injuries was life-threatening, Pulaski County Sheriff Sam Catron said Friday.

        The tornado cut a line about 5 or 6 miles long through the county as the storm uprooted trees and knocked down power lines Wednesday afternoon.

        Robb Lawson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Jackson visited Pulaski County on Thursday to assess the damage and classify the storm. Preliminary evidence indicates it looked like an F1 tornado, the weakest on a scale from 1 to 5, he said.


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