Two nights of severe storms last week brought damage to homes and properties as well as destroying trees and downing power lines. Tuesday saw three rounds of heavy storms coming through the area. The worst damage was seen to homes at Sandy Run just outside Norris City. There were witnesses who said they saw a tornado in the area. David and Candi Dale’s home was damaged by a tree which came down on the porch roof. Bill and Phyllis Becker’s home had heavy roof damage with the roof almost completely gone, giving evidence of extremely high winds going through that area.The weather service at Paducah revised their preliminary report, reporting that “the first line of storms produced a weak tornado and a microburst, both with estimated winds of 85 mph, near Norris City, Illinois.” Large trees were uprooted entirely. The storm went on to gather winds of 90 mph with a two mile wide damage path across northwest Posey County through southern Gibson County in Indiana. Fort Branch, Ind. saw numerous homes damaged and a semi blown over. Torrential rainfall of 1 to 2+ inches was observed in some areas along with some reports of hail, mostly up to the size of nickels. However, there was a report of ping pong ball sized hail in Van Buren, Mo.
Two rounds of severe thunderstorms occurred on Thursday, June 28. The first round during the midday hours was relatively minor. The more significant outbreak occurred during the evening hours, when a thunderstorm complex raced southward across southern Illinois and western Kentucky. Widespread wind damage occurred with this complex, which met the definition of a derecho.
Ginger Clark’s home at 410 W. Main St., Norris City sustained extensive damage in Thursday’s storm. A large tree was uprooted in her yard as well. The Fire Department was called out to Fifth and Short Streets for downed lines in Norris City. Downed trees fell into the lines.
On 300 E and 950 N, a transformer caught fire, throwing customers on Wayne White service out of power Thursday night. Wayne White Electric reported over 1100 customers throughout the county were out of power on Thursday night.
Storms ripped off part of the roof of the Gallatin County Schools. A big field fire between Muddy and Eldorado was seen by drivers on Highway 45, possibly caused by a lightening strike.
Steve Bain posted on Facebook at 7 p.m. Thursday night “White County is under a SEVERE THUNDERSTORM ******WARNING*******….. this storm is coming from the northwest, so it has some re-enforcing unstable air associated with it….. looks like heavy rain, strong winds, large hail is possible, and a possible tornado…. at 6:40 the southernmost edge of the storm is entering northwest Wayne county……at its current rate of travel, this storm should be entering White County by 7:30…. this one means business.”
From the Paducah Weather Service: A preliminary report showed the highest measured wind was 67 MPH at the Southern Illinois Airport in Illinois, and 62 MPH at Barkley Regional Airport in West Paducah, Ky.
Wayne White Electric Cooperative put out this statement: “Power was restored to all but a handful of members without electricity, after a peak of 1,157 meters were without power at the height of the storm. The heavy line of thunderstorms with strong wind gusts moved through the area and caused widespread power outages. The most affected areas were in Hamilton County, White County, and Franklin County. Thanks for your patience.”
All in all, it’s been a hot, muggy, and stormy week in White County.