15 years later, neighbors remember Masterson Station tornado

Photo: WKYT
Published: May. 27, 2019 at 10:15 PM EDT
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It's been 15 years since an F3 tornado ripped through a Lexington neighborhood.

The tornado touched down in Masterson Station back on May 27, 2004, damaging several homes and flattening at least one.

People who still live there remember the twister was preceded by a terrible storm.

"Hearing the wind blow and the rain, it was raining hard. Looked out the window, it was blowing sideways," Kenny Brown said.

"Lightning seemed like every second, just boom boom boom," said Chandra Evans.

Evans said she took shelter with her husband, son, and their dog.

"Our electric went off a few seconds before the tornado hit, but we could hear it coming, and we just ran under the stairwell and held on. Sounded like a freight train and it felt like we were going to be pulled out," she said.

Rooftops and even entire second floors to homes were completely blown off, littering the ground with the debris.

The path of destruction stretched for nearly three miles, passing over Kentucky 1978, Georgetown Road, and lifting around Citation Boulevard.

"Light poles were down. There was wood everywhere. It really looked like a war zone," Evans said. "We were just so grateful to have made it through that because some of the houses were leveled; there was just a foundation and that's all."

Brown's house was also spared, but he said others on his block weren't so lucky.

"That house, the garage was blown in. The blue house, the roof caved in on it. The fire department had to go in there and get the baby and the couple out. The big tall house [looked] like somebody just chopped it in two," he said.

Fortunately, no one was killed in the tornado. The National Weather Service reported only six people injured.

"It's something I don't want to go through again, no time soon," Brown said. "We got lucky out this way."

As terrible as the tornado was, Evans said it also brought the neighborhood together.

"Everybody was coming out, just to check on—make sure people were alive, that they were still with us," she said. "It was a real pulling together for several weeks."

Repairs were made in months, and today, there's no hint of the devastation that occurred in Masterson Station 15 years ago, but those who remember still watch the sky with caution.

"Tornados—just take cover as fast as you can. Even if you think one's coming and it doesn't, take cover. It's scary," Evans said.

Due to the extent of the damage, the National Weather Service determined the tornado was an F3, with winds estimated around 158 to 206 miles per hour.

A warning was not issued for the storm until after the tornado had lifted.