Century-old barn destroyed by winds

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By Brent Schanding

Strong winds destroyed an Elk Creek livestock barn Wednesday night, scattering planks and debris more than 100 yards from the site of the century-old structure.

Nathan Lawson–whose family has owned the barn since the 1950s–said it was used daily to feed cattle. It also stored hay and equipment.

“It was in good shape,” he said. Repairs had been done to the foundation and posts just last year.  

Lawson initially believed a tornado caused the damage.

“There’s some trees that ringed off like you think would happen with a tornado,” he said. “We’re glad we didn’t lose any cattle.”

But while Nathan Foster, a meteorologist with the NWS confirmed reports of a wind-destroyed barn in the Elk Creek area, he said the damage was unlikely caused by a Mid-April twister.

“The kind of storms we had Wednesday night were probably not tornadic,” he said.

He attributed the damage to “bow-segment” winds, which typically gust during strong thunderstorms.

“They can do a lot of damage, but they’re not tornadoes,” he said.

Wind gusts last week topped 62 mph in the Elizabethtown area, according to reports from the NWS in Louisville. While damages there were apparently more widespread, Spencer County seems to have suffered only isolated pockets of destruction. 

Stephanie Truax, a customer service representative with Kentucky Farm Bureau in Taylorsville said the office received just one report of wind damage immediately after last week’s gusts. The claim was also in the Elk Creek area, she said.

“Knock on wood,” she said. “It could’ve been worse.”