From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

High Winds in Hopkinsville

Severe weather brings welcome rain.



As I drove to work this morning, the wind was blowing mightily. The unpredictable gusts nearly knocked my car off the road. A heavy mass of storm clouds (above photo) was approaching Hopkinsville from the west/southwest.

On the radio, I heard several tornado warnings for Christian County and an unconfirmed report of a tornado touchdown within Hopkinsville, near the Indian Hills shopping center. As I looked at the black cloud over Hopkinsville, I wondered whether to continue on my way to work, turn around and go home, or find shelter somewhere along the road.

I drove on to work, keeping an eye out for funnel clouds. I was going to park my car and lie in the ditch if necessary. I'm glad I didn't have to do that.

Sheets of rain were coming down, as I got out of my car. I observed the wind direction and opened my umbrella against it, thinking I could block the driving raindrops. In a split second, a swirl of wind turned my umbrella completely inside out. I tried to use its strange new shape to keep my hair dry, as I ran to the building. It didn't work very well.

The National Weather Service has confirmed that a tornado did touch down in Hopkinsville. As tornados go, it was a mild one -- rated EF0, with winds of 80 mph. It damaged a metal building and the roof of Food Lion on Canton Pike, took part of the roof off a building in the Indian Hills area, and hit a barn on the Little River Church Road east of town (within a couple of miles of this photo!) Trees in the tornado's path were damaged and even uprooted.

A horse was killed at a farm on Bradshaw Road when a tree fell on it. This was probably not related to the tornado.

At our house, we had almost an inch of rain from the storm, and the moisture was very welcome. We've had an extended drought, here. In fact, drought disaster relief has been requested for Christian County, along with Todd, Trigg, Caldwell, and thirty-one more Kentucky counties.  Sunday afternoon, we had a slow, quiet rain, our first rain in a long, long time. We prefer rain like that -- without all the drama we had today -- but I guess we'll take whatever we get.

2 comments:

Annalee said...

That storm was nuts!

I unfortunately got caught up in some of it on my way down 41A .. At one point I was probably driving 25mph and could hardly see the car in front of me.

Im happy that it finally rained though, we definitely needed that.

I remember watching all the tornado warnings on tv ... Crazy stuff.

Im still somewhat new to this area .. Are tornadoes normal for this time of year?

Genevieve said...

Hi, Annalee. Tornadoes are far more common in the springtime, here, but the National Weather Service always makes the point that a tornado can happen in any month of the year!

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