HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. — Severe weather made its way through the Commonwealth on the first day of the year, causing tornadoes and flooding across the state. Hopkinsville was one of the towns hit by devastation Saturday.
What You Need To Know
- Flooding and strong winds rolled through Kentucky on New Year's Day
- There are no reported injuries or fatalities from the EF-2 Hopkinsville tornado
- Damage is centralized to downtown Hopkinsville, with debris scattered across E. Ninth Street
- Storm damage includes downed power lines, partial building collapses and broken store fronts
Downtown Hopkinsville was hit by what is believed to be a tornado on Saturday when severe weather ripped through the Commonwealth just a few weeks after the Quad State tornado outbreak in December. The latest storm in Hopkinsville left debris scattered through a downtown park, a destroyed Marathon gas station, broken glass windows of the Auto Zone and even a partial building collapse at Southern States which operates as a petroleum factory.
Many residents like Wes Creager of Hopkinsville looked at these areas of downtown and were met with shock.
“These big gutters were at the top of the filling station. All of them were big canopy type things and those gutters blew away. And you can see a large piece of metal which is probably the top of this roof and it’s up in that tree over there.” said Creager.
Every single gas pump at the Marathon Gas station blew away across the street, into the park. According to the Hopkinsville Police Department, no reported injuries or fatalities have been reported but it’s an eerie way to start the year for many Kentuckians as severe weather is triggering.
Creager said he didn’t hear any noise of a possible tornado while inside of his Hopkinsville home. He knew things were bad when the power went out.
“I live only about two city blocks from all of this, what’s amazing is it all went on and I didn’t even realize it. Our power went off and I went out trying to find out why and found out all of this debris happened so quickly,” said Creager.
The Hopkinsville Police Department called in several responding agencies to help with clearing debris from roads, blocking roads off, fixing power lines. The Kentucky State Police, Christian County Sheriff’s office, Christian County Rescue, Hopkinsville Electric System (HES) and many other agencies helped out in the effort.
Sergeant Samantha Rodriguez helped facilitate responding agencies being called out to lessen danger for Hopkinsville residents.
“About 9:30 a.m. this morning, myself and my officers got reports from dispatch that citizens were calling in saying that there was a tornado on the ground. At this point there’s possibly been a tornado, but to my knowledge it has not been confirmed. It has pretty much hit downtown area of Hopkinsville primary affected several businesses and causing a lot of damage,” Rodriguez said on Saturday.
The National Weather Service's preliminary survey found evidence of an EF-2 tornado in downtown Hopkinsville.
The damage in Hopkinsville is something Creager is reminded of on his walk home. His neighbors home stayed standing but their roof was ripped off and thrown down into their front yard.
“Extremely grateful that not only me that no other people have been seriously injured. It’s just great, it could’ve been so different if it had been a normal day there would have been people in these stores and stuff that are closed. So obviously it didn’t affect us nearly as much,” said Creager.
The Hopkinsville Electric System plans to continue to work on down power lines, fix standing power lines. The National Weather Service plans to conduct more damage assessments through counties including Warren, Logan, Madison, Barren, Hart, Taylor, Marion to determine strength of severe weather that ripped through Kentucky on the first day of the year. Counties will continue to be added to the list if needed.