NWS: EF-1 tornado touches down near Jefferson/Shelby County line

NWS: EF-1 tornado touches down near Jefferson/Shelby county line
Published: Apr. 3, 2023 at 7:20 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The National Weather Service confirmed on Monday that a small tornado touched down near the Jefferson and Shelby County line during Friday night’s storms.

According to NWS officials, preliminary damage of 90 mph winds was found east of Floyds Fork with a touchdown point just east of the Gene Snyder.

Damage survey teams said the tornado had a max width of 130 yards and traveled four miles from Terra View Trail through Forest Country Club and lifted in Persimmon Ridge.

A strong weather system impacted the Ohio Valley on Friday evening, with thunderstorms and high-level winds occurring into early Saturday morning.

Multiple reports of damage came in from the Lake Forest subdivision.

“In this situation, in the main tornado there’s usually one or two or three very small funnels usually 20 yards wide at max,” said John Gordon, a meteorologist with National Weather Service. “And that’s why your house may get hit, and his house may not get hit.”

Gordon spent the day surveying the northeastern area of Jefferson County to figure out the power of the tornado and the extent of the damage.

“It looked like just east of the Snyder by the plastic surgery center off Old Henry is where it began,” Gordon said. “The width is not very wide, 70 yards wide, and it was a skipper. Very small, dangling funnel. But where it hit, look what it did.”

Gordon only learned about the tornado after he was sent a video taken by Lake Forest resident Chris Nolan’s doorbell camera.

In the video, the wind causes his plants to whip back and forth and Nolan’s tree crashes down in his front yard.

“We’ve had so many winds over the last few weeks, we know what the house is like when it shakes,” Nolan said. “But it shook something different this time. It felt like the very foundation was moving.”

A camera in his backyard goes from a clear picture of his patio to absolute chaos in seconds.

This isn’t Nolan’s first experience with a tornado.

He was living in Crescent Hill when tornados ravaged Louisville on April 3, 1974. Monday is the 49th anniversary of that outbreak.

“I remember strangers picking me up when I was young and carrying me over live wires and setting me down as everybody wandered through the neighborhood in shock of what tore through Louisville,” Nolan said.

The tornado that hit Nolan’s this time happened on April 1st.

And now just days away, more severe weather is in the forecast for Louisville, and Gordon said that’s not unusual.

“The April 3, 1974 outbreak,” Gordon said. “The terrible tornado that hit Louisville. April 1, 1974, we had a big event. Same thing December 21, we had an event on the 5th-6th, then we had an event on the 10th-11th. It’s very common to have two in the same week.”

Looking ahead, Gordon said to have a plan and be prepared and don’t think it can’t happen in your neighborhood.

With more severe weather expected later this week, Nolan said he hopes the odds are in his favor and those tornados don’t strike in the same place twice.

Officials with NWS Louisville said they would continue to survey damaged areas to further identify the storm system.