From The StormTracker Weather Center

Jul 5, 2012 10:29 PM

Storms Tear Through Laurel County

Storms tore through Laurel County, ripping a tin roof from a tobacco warehouse. Trees and power lines were blown down, and as of 10 p.m. Thursday, KU was still working to get power back on for some people.

Water pools on the warehouse floor at London Tobacco Market; the huge tin roof lies crumpled in the driveway.

"One minute it's 100 degrees. The next minute, the rain is blowing, the wind is blowing, and you don't know where it come from. It's scary," says General Manager, Ginny Bailey.

Bailey wasn't at the warehouse when the storm hit; no one was. Seeing the once-live power lines twisted in the metal sheets, she shudders to think what could have been:

"Let's dig in and salvage what we can. Because we have to go on. Because this is our livelihood."

Had there been plants in the greenhouse with the roof torn off, or in the greenhouse with the side ripped out, the storm could have destroyed their business. Fortunately, tobacco growing season is over.

"This was the time for it to happen. If it had to happen, this was the time. We were thankful for that," Bailey says.

There's more storm damage over on Hawk Creek Road, west of London. Downed trees littered front yards. Lisa Oakley points out where she thinks lightning struck her tree.

"There was just like a big boom and then a big light," Oakley says. "I thought my trailer had been hit."

She points to where it dug up part of the yard. When Oakley ran outside to see what happened, her car was smoking.

"My lights was on my car, my wipers was on, so evidently, the lightning hit my car."

And now that car won't start. But Bailey's just happy her family is OK.

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