Several instances of damage occurred throughout Fayette County on Tuesday due to strong storms and straight line winds.
According to various notifications from the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, there was a severe thunderstorm warning as well as a tornado watch yesterday.
According to Fayette County Emergency Management Agency Director Melissa Havens, both she and the National Weather Service agreed there was no tornado. Damage was caused by straight line winds.
Straight line winds, according to Havens, is when wind is blowing in one direction horizontally. It can blow over objects, get into buildings, and cause lifting and destruction. The difference is a tornado has wind in multiple directions.
Significant damage occurred in and around Jeffersonville and Jefferson Township.
Sheriff Vernon Stanforth explained via email, “The series of storms moving through Fayette County caused extensive damage to structures and utilities in the northern quadrant. The Buckeye RV suffered significant dollar loss with the destruction of numerous trailers in the lot. A neighboring barn was also heavily damaged.”
It was reported to the Record-Herald by a local that a barn was observed just outside of Jeffersonville on State Route 734 with the top half gone.
Prairie Road at the Interstate 71 overpass was closed due to power lines across the roadway. Motorists were advised to avoid the area.
Multiple power poles and lines were also down on Reid Road and State Street.
Due to the downed poles and lines, power was out in several areas. Havens explained Perry Township lost power about noon. As it was Election Day, they needed to get the polling location in Perry Township back up. As a temporary fix, a generator was taken to the polling location.
Havens further explained once the weather was clear, she saw six AES trucks out together fixing the downed poles.
Not only were poles and lines knocked down, but reports were made that several trees were down.
A semi overturned on Interstate 71 at the 65 mile marker. The semi was laying across all three lanes, blocking them. The sheriff’s office also advised that I-71 had a lot of debris on the roadway from the high winds, and visibility was very low due to heavy rain on the interstate — causing motorists to drive slow and even stop at times.
Stanforth wrote, “Fortunately, there have been no reported injuries related to the storm.”
According to a sheriff’s office social media post, “(the pictures of the damage) gives only a reflection of the numerous calls handled by our deputies, personnel from Jefferson Twp Fire & EMS, highway workers from the Fayette County Engineers Office and Jefferson Township Trustees, the Ohio State Highway Patrol and our fantastic dispatchers in the 9-1-1 Center who are the first voice that you hear when calling for help. A rather chaotic afternoon was made much easier due to the experience and great working relationships between our responders. Thanks to all for your help.”
Reach journalist Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355.