January 1, 2022 has started again with severe weather in the region as flood waters are still present in the region.
After the tornadoes that devastated Kentucky on December 11, Taylor County once again fell victim to Mother Nature.
National Weather Service storm investigation teams discovered damage from tornado EF-1 just north of Campbellsville. The timing of this tornado was based on eyewitness testimony. Peak winds estimated at 110 mph with a path of 6.25 miles and a maximum width of 350 meters are reported.
According to the NWS, the first evidence of a landing was on Salem Church Road in Taylor County, where several outbuildings were damaged. The tornado then continued into the Woodhill subdivision where several houses mainly sustained roof damage. The tornado then crossed Route 289, then Route 3211, Red Fern Rd. Several houses were damaged here, again mainly due to roof issues, but several trees were also uprooted and / or broken.
Additional damage occurred along Palestine Rd and Sharp Ln, mainly damage to the roof, but some of the debris struck and shattered parts of a low brick wall. Two utility poles in the area were bent at about 30 degrees, one cracked at the base but still standing.
The tornado caused its final damage along Old Spurlington Road near US Hwy 68. The roof of a two-story house was damaged along the upper ridge. Surprisingly, a tree on the southwest side of the house did not fall on the house, but a nearby air conditioner was partially pushed out of its foundation. Closer to Highway 68, a large garage structure sustained extensive roof damage and a wall warped outward.
This tornado trail ran parallel and about 4 miles southeast of tornado EF-3 which passed through the area on December 11, 2021.
Up to 7 other sites are being assessed for tornado damage, with damaged Marion County and Bowling Green, as well as Bonnieville in neighboring Hart County.
Locally, LaRue County experienced rain and high winds that caused flooding in parts of the county. In the Athertonville area, LaRue County Sheriff Russell McCoy said the area will continue to experience flooding as water comes from other streams over the next few days.
LaRue County Extension Officer Daniel Carpenter told the Herald News that “I’m sure there were areas that received more or less rain than that, but the rain totals at the station Pearman Forest Mesonet weather reports are approximately 2 ¾ inches for the total rainfall event.
He went on to say, “The interesting part is how the rain fell. We erupted on New Years with a pouring rain, followed by a long, soggy rain. Then around noon we saw heavy rain which was falling at times at a rate equal to 3 inches per hour. With saturated soil and heavy rains on top of that, virtually all of that water runs off and collects in ditches, puddles and streams. Early Saturday afternoon we saw almost an inch of rain falling in no time. For a benchmark of how much water has likely leaked due to soil saturation, that’s almost 20,000 gallons of water per acre of soil.
Creekfront Park, known for its flooding, has not been spared from the rain, but has been noticeably worse than in recent events. Water was seen up to the bridge entering downtown Hodgenville, as storm debris was evident earlier this week.
From the temperatures of the 70s to flurries on Sunday, the New Year 2022 has already made weather history. The forecast calls for sunny, mostly sunny days in the 1940s and potential for snow for Thursday with lows among teenagers.