27 May 2004
Henry Co., Kentucky
Tornado Damage

Widespread severe thunderstorm damage occurred across portions of south-central Indiana and central Kentucky on the evening of May 27, 2004.

The following are some damage pictures from Henry County, Kentucky. This damage was from a confirmed F2 tornado and straight-line severe thunderstorm winds. The official public information statement follows, detailing the extent of the damage and estimated path dimensions.

Portion of roof ripped off house. Note the twisted and toppled trees.

Farm machinery tossed, trees toppled, possible structural damage.

Damage tracks of May 27 tornadoes.

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LOUISVILLE KY
400 PM EDT FRI MAY 28 2004

...STORM DAMAGE SURVEY FOR HENRY COUNTY KENTUCKY...

SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS RACED ACROSS PARTS OF SOUTH CENTRAL INDIANA AND
NORTH AND EAST CENTRAL KENTUCKY DURING THE EVENING OF THURSDAY MAY
27, 2004. ONE OF THE AREAS HARD HIT WAS THE TOWN OF EMINENCE AND
ADJACENT PORTIONS OF SOUTHERN HENRY COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL
KENTUCKY.

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PERSONNEL CONDUCTED A STORM DAMAGE SURVEY
OF SOUTHERN HENRY COUNTY TO DETERMINE TORNADO VERSUS STRAIGHT LINE
WIND DAMAGE...AND ESTIMATES OF ASSOCIATED WIND SPEEDS. THE
INFORMATION BELOW CONTAINS RESULTS OF THIS SURVEY.

DAMAGE TRENDS SUGGEST A COMBINATION OF A TORNADO AND INTENSE
STRAIGHT LINE WINDS IN THIS AREA. BASED ON A FEW WITNESSES AND
VISIBLE DAMAGE...IT IS ESTIMATED THAT A TORNADO FIRST TOUCHED DOWN
ABOUT A MILE OR SO EAST OF THE TOWN OF SMITHFIELD IN AN OPEN AREA IN
SOUTHWEST HENRY COUNTY. AT THIS POINT...THE TORNADO APPEARED TO BE
AN F0 ON THE FUJITA TORNADO DAMAGE SCALE.

THE TORNADO THEN MOVED EAST OVER ROUTE 55 NORTH OF THE CENTER OF
EMINENCE. FROM THERE...IT CAUSED SIGNIFICANT STRUCTURAL DAMAGE TO A
HOUSE ALONG ROUTE 421 (JUST SOUTH OF HERNDON LANE) AND TWO OTHER
HOUSES JUST TO THE EAST ALONG ROUTE 3323 (JUST NORTHEAST OF THE
ROUTE 22/ROUTE 421 INTERSECTION). A METAL DUMPSTER ALSO WAS
DEPOSITED NEAR THIS LOCATION...ITS ORIGINS UNKNOWN. SIGNIFICANT TREE
DAMAGE ALSO OCCURRED...INCLUDING A NUMBER OF TREES THAT WERE SNAPPED
OFF. THE TORNADO CONTINUED EAST AND DAMAGED OR DESTROYED SEVERAL
MOBILE HOMES...THEN CROSSED A PART OF SWEENEY LANE BEFORE WEAKENING
OR LIFTING TO THE EAST.

IT APPEARS THE TORNADO REACHED ITS MAXIMUM STRENGTH IN THE ROUTE
421/ROUTE 3323 AREA WHERE F2 DAMAGE OCCURRED WITH MAXIMUM WIND
SPEEDS ESTIMATED AROUND 150 MPH. THE MAXIMUM PATH WIDTH WAS
ESTIMATED TO BE AROUND 300 YARDS...WITH A TOTAL PATH LENGTH AROUND 9
MILES. HOWEVER...IT IS POSSIBLE THE TORNADO MAY HAVE LIFTED SLIGHTLY
OFF THE GROUND ONCE OR TWICE ALONG ITS PATH.    

IMMEDIATELY SOUTH OF THE TORNADO PATH...WIDESPREAD TREE DAMAGE
OCCURRED ALONG ROUTE 22 IN EMINENCE AND WEST OF TOWN...AS WELL AS
SOUTH ALONG ROUTE 55 EXTENDING ABOUT 1/4 TO 1/2 MILE SOUTH OF THE
CENTER OF TOWN. HOWEVER...LITTLE STRUCTURAL DAMAGE WAS NOTED IN
THESE AREAS...ALTHOUGH A ROOF WAS BLOWN OFF A STRUCTURE IN TOWN. IN
ADDITION...MOST OF THESE TREES WERE FELLED IN THE SAME DIRECTION
INDICATING THAT STRAIGHT LINE WINDS ASSOCIATED WITH THE REAR FLANK
DOWNDRAFT (RFD) OF THE STORM PRODUCED THE DAMAGE. THE RFD TYPICALLY
PRODUCES WIND DAMAGE IMMEDIATELY SOUTH OF A TORNADO. STRAIGHT LINE
WIND SPEEDS IN THIS AREA WERE ESTIMATED TO BE FROM 80 TO 100 MPH.
SCATTERED TREE DAMAGE ALSO WAS NOTED ALONG GILTNER ROAD BETWEEN
ROUTE 22 AND SMITHFIELD. THIS ALSO WOULD BE ALONG THE AXIS OF THE
STRAIGHT LINE WINDS.

TWO NON-LIFE THREATENING INJURIES WERE REPORTED WITH THE STORM. IF
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION BECOMES AVAILABLE...THIS STATEMENT WILL BE
UPDATED AS NECESSARY.


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