Three tornadoes have been confirmed in eastern Kentucky and West Virginia from recent storms, the National Weather Service said Tuesday.
After sending a team Tuesday to survey damage reports from Monday’s thunderstorms, the weather service determined an EF-2 tornado with maximum winds of 120 mph touched down near Louisa, Kentucky. The tornado traveled about 2.5 miles, said meteorologist Michael Charnick in Charleston.
Lawrence County Emergency Management Director Michael Woods had said a Wal-Mart store roof sustained damage, several vehicles were overturned and some minor injuries were reported Monday.
Store Manager Marty Bishop said more than 50 employees and customers were inside when the storm hit. Media outlets report merchandise inside the store was tossed about.
“When you start moving 50-pound bags of potting soil into the air and overturning vehicles, it’s a pretty serious wind,” Louisa Mayor Harold Slone said.
The weather service also confirmed an EF-1 tornado touched down near Brodhead in Rockcastle County, Kentucky, around 4:30 p.m. Monday. It carried peak winds of 90 mph and a maximum width of 40 yards with a peak length of 0.17 mile.
Several trees were uprooted and cars moved. The weather service said one car was picked up and flipped over. No injuries were reported.
In Lincoln County, a thunderstorm ripped off a church steeple and tore shingles and siding off homes in the community of Yawkey.
“It was just a scary situation,” homeowner Ronald Brumfield said. “It was just white. I mean you couldn’t even hardly see. Then the trees, they just started going everywhere.”
Charnick said the weather service confirmed Yawkey was hit by an EF-0 tornado with winds of 85 mph. The twister traveled two-tenths of a mile.
A second team from the weather service surveyed storm damage in northern West Virginia and determined damage near Lost Creek in Harrison and Lewis counties was consistent with straight line winds associated with a microburst. The weather service said the damage indicated winds of 90 to 100 mph.
The storms came 11 days after devastating floods in West Virginia destroyed at least 1,500 homes, damaged 4,000 others, caused $36 million in damage to roads and killed at least 23 people.
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