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Storm causes outages, property damage

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By Randy Patrick

It was a brief but fierce storm that flattened trees, pulled down power lines and darkened buildings in parts of Bardstown for a couple of hours Tuesday afternoon.

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The storm came through about 4:45 p.m. just as many people were about to head  home from work. Traffic signals were out in several places, and streets were flooded. City firefighters cut tree limbs that were blocking streets and cleared debris.

The storm ripped the new roof off the Bardstown High softball dugout on West Broadway, but surprisingly did no damage at all to the big tents on South Third that had been put up for the Buttermilk Days festival.

There was also some minor damage reported at Bethlehem High School’s new field house. Tom Hamilton, the principal, said some lights and ceiling panels were blown down and insulation blown all over the place.

“That was a pretty strong wind shear,” he said.

At their home at Allison and Halstead, Crystal Morin and Charles Mattingly were asleep, because they both work third shift, when a humongous tree in their front yard came crashing down, knocked the roof off the porch and fell across two cars, but did not bring down the electrical lines that run through its branches. The lights flickered, but stayed on.

“He woke me up and said, ‘Babe, I think a tree just fell on our house,’” Morin said.

The tree’s trunk is divided into three big sections, and two of them came down.

“It rolled off the car and bounced on the ground,” Mattingly said about one section.

Kayla Reece, who lives with them, had just parked the other car and gotten out of it when the tree came down on it.

I had gone inside and heard a loud crash,” she said.

Morin and Mattingly had just bought the house and moved in a year ago this month.

Eric Richter, the city’s electrical engineer, said the storm knocked out the substation at Boone’s Butcher Shop, which shut off electricity to most of downtown, Edgewood, Cathedral Manor, New Haven Road and the Templin and Chambers area.

“We know why it’s out, we’re just trying to figure out where it’s all out,” he said soon after the outage occurred.

Around 8 p.m., the lights were back on downtown, and Richter said city workers were close to getting those other areas back on, and then would start working on localized outages. Wednesday morning around 10, he said there were still some isolated places without electricity.