Monday, April 29, 2002

Wind KOs trees, power

By Jennifer Edwards,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        What started as a bright, sunny day swirled into a blustery mess Sunday when winds up to 48 miles per hour blew through the Tristate, knocking down more than 40 trees and dozens of power lines.

        About 16,000 residents were left without power, at least one tree branch fell through the roof of a house, fallen trees blocked several roads and one person was stuck in an elevator at a Montgomery business.

        Cinergy spokesman Dave Woodburn said he wasn't sure when power would be restored today because the blackouts were scattered in small pockets in most areas, making restoration painstakingly slow.

        The blackouts ranged from Boone and Campbell counties to Warren and Butler counties. Hardest hit were Fort Thomas, Hyde Park, Mount Healthy and Newtown, authorities said.

        Traffic lights were reported out on some streets, and telephone and cable service were out in places.

        Elsewhere in Kentucky, damage from violent storms — and perhaps a tornado — was much worse. One person died in Breckinridge County, about 70 miles southwest of Louisville, and at least 30 were injured there.

        Thirty-two homes were destroyed and 114 were deemed uninhabitable in the county.

        In the Breckinridge community of Irvington, Billy Garrett, 52, died of injuries after he was thrown about 200 feet from his mobile home outside of town, county coroner Bob Rhodes said.

        The winds “tore the trailer completely apart,” Mr. Rhodes said.

        The tornado, which hit the Webster County town of Providence, population 3,600, was a half-mile wide in parts and left a 10-mile path of destruction, said Ron Fields, a National Weather Service meteorologist who assessed the damage Sunday by helicopter.

        Mr. Fields estimated the tornado generated winds of better than 150 mph.

        A fast-moving cold front collided with warm air to produce the storms, the National Weather Service said, predicting clouds mixed with sun today.

        At Kotsovos Furs & Fine Apparel on Montgomery Road in Montgomery, a person became stuck in an elevator Sunday afternoon when the power went out, authorities said. The person was not injured and was freed, Montgomery firefighters said.

        A tree pierced the roof of a house in Indian Hill, firefighter Drew Foppe said.

       The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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