Cleanup Begins After Powerful Storms Blast Region

Posted at 7:27 AM, Jul 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-21 07:27:39-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Powerful storms that swept through the region Friday caused damage and widespread power outages.

Lexington saw a lot damage, including trees falling into homes and power lines down. LEX 18 meteorologist Bill Meck says 100 mph winds were recorded atop the cranes downtown at City Center, formerly known as CentrePointe.

Kentucky Utility crews are out in force, but thousands remain without power Saturday morning. For more information on outage areas, check out the utility’s outage map here.

A huge tree fell onto a home along East Maxwell Street, but no one was injured.

"When I got here, I was just shocked, just seeing all the destruction that the storms caused," Micah Haight said.

Meanwhile the Bluegrass Fair out at Masterson Station Park also saw damage. Fair workers were busy cleaning up tents knocked over by wind and debris from trees.

Strong winds blew down a huge tent that housed the petting zoo. Some animals escaped briefly, but no animals or people were hurt.

Early warnings allowed workers to take cover.

"We opened up several buildings and told them they could take cover should we have an emergency," said fair manager Ron Mossotti. "We had an emergency, and they took cover. We had some damage and all is well."

The fair is due to reopen Sunday at 3 p.m.

In Woodford County, downed power lines trapped several people in their cars on U.S. Highway 60. One car was burned by a live wire.

Utility crews urged the drivers to remain inside their vehicles while first responders warned everyone else to stay away.

More than three hours passed before crews grounded the lines and each driver walked away unscathed.

"It was the grace of god," said Amy Folker, who escaped the downed lines. "I totally believe that somebody was looking out for us and we made it."

Elsewhere in Woodford County, several large trees blocked roadways in Midway.

Emergency crews there worked to clear a massive tree that fell near the intersection of Winter and Stephen streets in a historical protected neighborhood.

Anne Street also was blocked, and Midway University saw extensive tree damage as well.

While the cleanup is expected to last weeks, no injuries were reported.

Several businesses in Montgomery County also took a beating by the storms.

Harsh winds knocked down the Ramada Inn’s sign and took down several trees. Also, winds tore a roof off a warehouse and the debris landed on South Queen Street, blocking the roadway.