Halloween storm leaves damage across Eastern Kentucky

MOREHEAD, Ky. (WKYT) - Bath county Middle School's been around for a while, so it's unfortunately seen its share of tragedy. Each time a student passes away, students and staff plant a tree in the his or her honor. One of those trees, though, was no match for the Halloween storm.

Students and staff planted Wesley Ritchie's tree after he died in 1999. As of Thursday night, though, that tree is gone. It was a victim of Thursday night's storm that also sent trees crashing into homes and cars around Bath County. The high winds split the tree down the middle, and workers spent much of the morning cleaning up. School administrators said students had been working on marking each of the trees to give the families a special place to remember their children.

"The family members feel that if they have a tree that's dedicated in their name, they feel it's something that can still live on in memory of their lost loved one," said Principal John Slone.

Slone says that tree will be replaced.

The storm blew out of Bath County and ripped into Rowan County a little after 1AM.

Perry Thompson says he'd thought about the danger posed by the talk trees in his front yard, but never took it too seriously until last night.

"About 1:15 we heard a big thump. My wife, she woke up first. She knew what it was right away," Thompson said.

The limbs crashed through the ceiling, letting the rain pour in.

"We had water flying down through there. We had the insulation everywhere," she said.

Friday, Thompson spent the day watching the pros get the cleanup job done. He says he'll finally look into getting something done about those trees.

"I've had a tree trimmer come by here a couple times and ask me if I wanted them trimmed some and the tops taken out. I said no, I thought I could go another year or two. I'm thinking that might have been a mistake," he joked.

Rowan county Emergency Management officials say power was out in downtown Morehead, but they restored after about an hour and a half.


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