Tornado wallops small Kentucky town

BY PJ HELLER | LEITCHFIELD, Ky. | May 24, 2000


LEITCHFIELD, Ky. (May 24, 2000) -- At least one tornado ripped through this

small Kentucky town on Tuesday, injuring 11 people and damaging homes and

businesses, officials reported.

Power and telephone service was knocked out to much of the town of about

5,500 people as the mid-afternoon storm toppled trees and downed power

lines. The town is located 77 miles southwest of Louisville.

One factory was demolished and at least one other was severely damaged,

according to the Grayson County Sheriff's Office. Some roofs on homes were

damaged and cars and mobile homes were overturned, according to one

resident.

The courthouse, a former hospital building that now houses the sheriff's

department and social service agencies, and a middle school were pressed

into service as temporary shelters. The Salvation Army and American Red

Cross were on site, police said.

None of the injuries was serious, according to authorities. No fatalities

were reported.

The Kentucky Baptist Convention was assessing the situation to see if its

services -- including a feeding unit that could provide hot meals and

workers with chainsaws to help clear fallen trees -- were needed.

George Smith, pastor at the First Baptist Church in Leitchfield, said it

was too early for any kind of coordinated faith-based response to the storm.

"Right now everything is in a state of confusion," he said after touring

the town shortly after the storm hit.

Leitchfield, established in 1810, is the county seat of Grayson County.

Posted May 24, 2000


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