Damaging Storms Hit Macon County
By Debbie Gregory
High winds and heavy rain moved across Macon County over the weekend, with multiple trees and power lines down across our area.
Forecasters predicted heavy rain accompanied by damaging straight line winds and possible tornadoes on Friday night, and warned everyone to be prepared.
According to Captain Michael Bransford, with the Lafayette Fire Department, right after the storm came through on Friday night, his crew was paged out around 8 p.m., when a tree had reportedly fell on a propane tank outside a home on Galen Road. “The further out the Galen Road we got, the worse the damage was,” said Captain Bransford. “We actually had to stop just past Roark’s old store for a tree that was down and blocking the road. The Macon County Sheriff’s Office was there and they cut it down and we were able to continue on. When we got to the scene, there were power lines down and a tree had fell on the tank knocking the valve off. There was propane that had spewed out of the tank, and we secured the area until Tri County and Webbtown Propane got there. They assessed the situation and we dammed it up till Webbtown could get back out there Saturday morning and swap out the tank.”
“There was an excessive amount of damage across the county, with downed power lines, uprooted trees, and several buildings and homes that were hit,” said Captain Bransford. “And we were fortunate that nobody was transported that night for injuries due to the storm. However, we later learned that a man in neighboring Allen County, Kentucky, was killed when a tree fell on his truck.”
“The tornado sirens were set off inside the city twice, due to tornado warnings, not because a tornado was on the ground,” noted Captain Bransford. “We definitely dodged the bullet this time.”
There were many areas across the county that were affected by the storms either by downed trees and power lines or damage, including Driver Road, Galen Road, Akersville Road, Red Boiling Springs, Gamaliel Road, Underwood, Spring Creek Road, Claude Fox Road, Highland, Scottsville Road, Gammons Lane, Beech Grove Road, Oak Knob Road, Antioch Road, Lick Branch, Maxie Bluff Road, and Williams Road just to name a few.
When the Macon County Chronicle talked with EMA Director Don Stevens by telephone on Monday afternoon, he stated that the National Weather Service will be doing damage assessment to see if it was caused by straight line winds or a tornado. “After they do the assessment, there is a certain amount of damage that is required for people to be able to receive assistance from the government,” said Director Stevens. “If people will e-mail their photos and damage information to me, I can let FEMA know how much damage we have and how widespread it is. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org and my cell phone number is 615-633-7631.
Rain continued on into Monday, with folks going to work carrying an umbrella.