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National Weather Service surveys Magoffin County damage

By: Hillary Thornton, Whitney Burks Email
By: Hillary Thornton, Whitney Burks Email
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MAGOFFIN COUNTY, Ky (WYMT) - UPDATE 6/11/13

They were hit hard by the March 2012 tornado outbreak, and many thought it happened again.

Strong storms ripped through Magoffin County Sunday night.

Tuesday National Weather Service officials surveyed to find out exactly what happened.

Officials say it was straight line winds that caused the destruction.

Folks who live in the area say it sounded like a freight train.

The tell tale sign of tornadoes left many on high alert when the storms tore through.

"I think we're all a little gun shy in this neck of the woods. We experienced one tornado. I don't think we ever want to see another one," said Magoffin County Emergency Management Director Mike Wilson.

The storms left a path of uprooted trees and damaged homes.

Many who are still reeling from the March 2012 outbreak thought it happened again, but NWS officials wanted to know exactly what kind of winds caused the damage.

"A lot of people hear the sound of a freight train and they automatically think a tornado has occurred, but 70 and 80 mile an hour winds will have that sound to it," said Tony Edwards, Warning Coordination Meteorologist.

After surveying the storm ravaged area they decided straight line winds were the culprit.

NWS officials say this storm was a prime example of how straight line winds can be just as damaging as tornadoes.

"This is just a sign that thunderstorms mean business. When we issue those severe thunderstorm warnings people need to prepare just like it's a tornado," said Edwards.

The NWS estimates the winds in Magoffin County to be between 70 and 80 miles per hour which they say is the same as an EF0 tornado.

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UPDATE 6/10/13

Strong storms moved through the region Sunday night leaving a path of damage. At least one tornado confirmed in Lawrence County and folks in one area hit by the March 2012 tornado outbreak were not spared this time either.

Dozens of homeowners in the Mine Fork Road area of Magoffin County are cleaning up after strong storms ripped through their community and many say the scene is far too familiar.

Crushed buildings, scattered belongings, and downed trees...all left behind from what folks say at first seemed like a typical thunderstorm but quickly turned to something much more. Marty Fuller was at the Christian Service International building where he helps host mission teams when the storm hit. Fuller says, "I looked up at the sky and saw something swirling and said...something is not right."

Lois Bowling was seeking shelter in the bathroom of her home and says, "I heard stuff hitting my house, sounded like someone taking a hammer and banging everywhere."

Fuller says, "The rain was going like horizontal, then vertical, all over the place. Then I saw a chair fly by the window, then it came back by the window."

They say the sights and sounds are ones they had hoped to never relive after last March's tornado outbreak.

Fuller says, "I think people are petrified. I was here last year and that's all I could think of, just brought it right back to memory. The sounds I heard yesterday...I will never forget."

Bowling explains, "Everybody I think ran for cover, everybody was thinking okay we've got to get somewhere safe. It is devastating but it is not as bad as last year was."

Now, the clean up process begins. A process they say could take some time but they will once again rally together as a community. Fuller says, "Make sure everything gets put back to normal I guess you could say...which it probably never will."

Judge Executive Charles "Doc" Hardin confirms that no injuries were reported

National Weather Service officials say they will send a survey team out to assess the damage and see if there are signs of a tornado.

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Strong storms moved through the area Sunday night and parts of Magoffin County were hit hard.

Officials say they are dealing with downed trees, debris in the roadway, downed power lines, and several homes suffered damage.

The storm hit the area along Route 1081 in Magoffin County near the Falcon Community.

Magoffin County Judge-Executive Charles "Doc" Hardin says as of Sunday night no injuries have been reported.


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