As high winds and heavy rainfall came through McLean County and the region Friday afternoon causing loss of power and concern for citizens, county officials said the community fared through the storm with minor damage and issues.
“For the most part, compared to some of our neighbors around us, I feel like we weathered the storm fairly well,” said Judge-Executive Curtis Dame. “There were some exterior buildings, barn roofs, there are some houses and shingles that I’m aware of (that received damage) ....
“To my knowledge, there wasn’t any loss of life; and I hate to use that as a metric, but that is my ultimate metric.”
“We had a lot of tree damage and stuff like that, but luckily nothing major to my knowledge,” said Terry Dossett, McLean County EMA director.
Dossett said calls to the county emergency medical services were “nothing out of the ordinary.”
The National Weather Service estimated wind speeds across the region were as high as 60 to 70 miles per hour, causing roads to be closed due to fallen trees and other rubble, according to Dame, but were addressed as quickly as possible.
“At one time or another, I think I counted 18 closure notices or calls that were made about debris on the roadway which our guys and volunteers, firefighters, the whole ... road department — everybody was top notch,” he said. “They were out there in this mess when the wind was still blowing and (it was) still raining, fixing what they could.”
As of Tuesday, Dame said there was “no major damage” present on the county roads.
“All those have been alleviated,” he said.
Dame said minor damage was sustained on the roof of the McLean County Chamber of Commerce’s building in Calhoun, while the windmill recently installed at Myer Creek Park saw significant damage. Both are covered by the county insurance through Kentucky Association of Counties (KACo).
One of the more prominent issues the county faced was in Beech Grove, where a 6-inch main water line that goes across a creek was damaged after a tree uprooted from the wind and pulled the line, causing low water pressure for homes, according to Michael Wahl, operator with the Beech Grove Water System.
“It was at the bottom of the creek, so we had to isolate it to where we could get water back onto the customers,” he said. “It was kind of hard to find because the creek (was) so full of water, you couldn’t see where it was broke at. So, it took a little bit longer than normal to be able to fix it.”
Wahl said the water line services about 590 customers, while some still had water pressure. Once the issue was identified, Wahl said the water pressure was restored within four to five hours.
As of Tuesday, Wahl said “everybody’s got water at full capacity and everybody is able to do as they need” and is currently in talks with “several contractors to come in and help repair it.”
Regarding future serious weather events, Dossett said residents must inform county dispatch if there are issues regarding weather sirens not being heard or possibly not working properly.
“People wait till the day of to say, ‘Hey, our weather siren hasn’t (gone) off in two or three weeks,’ ” he said. “... What I want people to understand is every Friday at noon, the weather sirens are tested; and if you don’t hear your weather siren go off, then you need to be calling and letting somebody know that it’s not working ….”
For issues concerning the weather sirens, contact the county dispatch center at 270-273-3551.
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