Storm causes damage on Frankfort's east side

Relay, Color Run postponed; Country Club golf course, tennis courts closed

State Journal staff report, Published:

A storm left a path of destruction through the east side of Franklin County Friday evening.

According to Emergency Management Director Tom Russell, a storm developed quickly over the county about 5:30 p.m., moving from Indian Hills to near Two Creeks. It featured wind speeds of at least 55 miles per hour combined with about half an inch of rain. The storm formed so fast that no official warning was given by the National Weather Service.

The winds caused numerous trees to fall, including between 15 and 20 that blocked roadways, Russell said. Several power outages also occurred.

Russell said one house in Indian Hills sustained moderate to severe damage when a large tree fell and tore a hole in the roof. A Silver Lake house also had minor damage.

The annual Franklin County Relay for Life and inaugural Color Out Cancer 3K Color Run were postponed as a result of the weather, and the Frankfort Country Club golf course and tennis courts are closed until further notice.

Despite the damage, Russell said the response from local agencies as well as power companies was well coordinated and the work was done quickly and efficiently that night.

“Those guys busted their butts working,” he said of the city and county fire departments, the police and sheriff’s offices, the road and street departments as well as crews from Blue Grass Electric and Kentucky Utilities, Columbia Gas.

He also commended the Frankfort Plant Board crews who “stepped up” and completely repaired power outages along Georgetown Road within three hours.

Mayor Bill May said he was pleased to see the cohesion between the various agencies responding. He urged city residents to make sure they have severe weather radios, but also to be aware of how quickly bad weather can occur.

“In this case we had no warning, so people need to be vigilant, particularly when outdoors,” he said.

The storm hit near Franklin County High School where Relay for Life teams were about to kick off the event with the survivors’ lap.

The storm roared through the area, knocking down and destroying tents. Only one injury was reported — a woman’s ankle was struck by debris and may have broken, Russell said.

According to the event’s Facebook page, the Color Run and luminaria ceremony will be rescheduled as soon as organizers can regroup and find a date.

“Please join us when we do to celebrate our survivors and remember our loved ones lost to cancer,” organizers posted Saturday morning on the event’s Facebook page.

The Frankfort Country Club sent out an email Friday evening notifying members the golf course and tennis courts would be closed until further notice.

“There are numerous trees down around the course that will take time to survey and clean up,” the email said.

Chain-link fences at the tennis courts sustained damage, and the club hopes to have repairs completed as soon as possible.

A power pole was askew on Stedmantown Lane at the entrance of Lakeview Park, closing the roadway while crews from KU repaired it, according to the Frankfort/Franklin County Office of Emergency Management Facebook page.

Downed limb collection will begin Monday and citizens are asked to pull their debris to the side of the roadway to be picked up, the Facebook page said.

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