Museum News | Mclean County

Unusual weather always being the case here – especially these record high temperatures – it keeps the possibility of more tornado activity, locally, in some of our minds. This is especially true since at least two other tornadoes hit New Years Day, in Hopkinsville and Bowling Green.

I was curious to see the history of tornadoes in this area of ​​Kentucky. After some research this is the recent storm / tornado activity I found for McLean County, which I’m sure many of you will remember as it wasn’t that long ago .

On June 4, 1993, what was termed a severe storm, with tornado-force winds – later called one of the worst storms in modern history – destroyed buildings and cut down trees and power lines, cutting electricity throughout the county for days. The Beech Grove, Pack and Livermore communities have been hit the hardest. Bethel Baptist Church in Beech Grove was destroyed. The damage was estimated in the millions but luckily the injuries were minimal. The sheriff’s department has received more than 200 reports of property damage as a result of the storm. While there have been no confirmed reports of tornadoes in the county, the extent of the damage in some areas was confirmation enough for some people.

On November 14, 1993, another “severe storm” hit the region. This time around, the Calhoun region was the hardest hit when buildings, trees and vehicles were damaged in Sunday’s storm. The most serious damage occurred at Abrasion Control Systems on Kentucky 81, just north of Calhoun. The company’s main store, which had been built five years earlier, was completely destroyed. Parts of the metal building were blown up to 400 meters. Although the National Weather Service could not confirm a tornado, many residents of the county were convinced it was what hit the area. Many farmers in the area have lost barns and tool sheds. Downed trees blocked some roads and driveways and broke power lines. The utility company’s teams were in force this Sunday and Monday to restore power to areas cut off by the storm.

An F2 tornado passed through Calhoun on January 23, 2002, causing $ 1 million in damage but no loss of life. According to NEWS, “The tornado that swept through the northern end of town damaged at least 18 homes, 10 businesses and knocked over utility poles, trees and branches, depriving the area of ​​electricity and telephone service. Some of the companies mentioned in the NEWS were the Dickensian antenna and satellite, which were destroyed; the nursery school and the Saint-Sébastien garage, which were considerably damaged; and the Calhoun cemetery, which was “devastated”, with 300 to 350 stones knocked over and 50 trees uprooted. The town’s war memorial, which stood at the entrance to the cemetery for many years, “was toppled and crushed by high winds.”

According to the Red Cross, 53 homes suffered damage from Wednesday night’s storm. The county was told the area had not suffered enough damage to be eligible for FEMA funds. The town of Calhoun had installed a storm siren the year before, to warn of such tornadoes, but it did not sound the night of the tornado, as the National Weather Service issued no tornado warning that night – the.

My main takeaway with warnings is that a tornado warning is only issued by the National Weather Service when a tornado has been spotted – and only then does a storm siren sound. When you hear a siren take cover, but if something about a storm doesn’t sound right – as it did in the 2002 tornado – many residents have moved forward. and took shelter, and it probably saved them from injury or saved their lives. .

The Treasure House is having a garment bag sale this month; fill one of their bags with clothes, and it only costs $ 5. Come in and get yourself some warm clothes! Book sales also continue this month.

The museum and the treasure house are open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays – the museum 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the treasure house 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please call the museum before visiting, to make sure we are open . In the event of bad weather, if the schools are closed, we are also closed. We are at 540 Main St., Calhoun, and our number is 270-499-5033. I wish everyone a safe week!


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