What started out as an average summer day with a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms, quickly turned into an atypical summer day with an unusual and seemingly unannounced tornado outbreak with very little lead time.
Initially, a very small thunderstorm turned tornadic, crossing the county from west to east. Several witnesses reported funnel clouds as the storm traveled across the county.
Unfortunately, right behind the initial tornadic thunderstorm was another strengthening cell, even larger than the first and certain to release even more havoc on an already battered city. Soon after this cell crossed the river, Louisville’s west end experienced its second tornado warning in less than two hours.
Paul Stone and Megan Schweizer were walking their dogs in Cherokee Park when the first tornado siren sounded.
Schweizer said, “We heard the siren go off and then it started sprinkling. We took shelter in the woods and then it just started dumping on us. The sirens were no longer sounding, but we decided that we needed to get the frick out of dodge. So we ran back to the car.”
Damage initially seems to lie through the middle of Jefferson County with Churchill Downs reportedly suffering severe damage to horse barns. Power outages are no doubt rampant; LG&E reports 7,000 Louisville customers are experiencing power outages at the time of this report.
Twitter was ablaze with reports from all over the city and the Louisville.com account was at least as busy as the LG&E call center. WLKY-TV was doing an awesome job keeping everyone up to date with pictures and damage reports.
Thankfully, no one has been hurt as far as it’s known at this point. I’m going to get back to dinner.
Photo courtesy Tony Smith