Sections of several state roads in Hopkins County were closed Monday after a weekend of heavy rain and scary winds.
"We had a report of 2.69 inches of rain from an observer in Madisonville," National Weather Service meteorologist Chris Noles said Monday from Paducah.
Official measurements show nearly two inches of that rain fell in the 48-hour period ending at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. It was enough to turn some drainage ditches into rapids that kayakers could appreciate.
"Other than localized flash flooding, we actually fared pretty well," Hopkins County Emergency Management Director Nick Bailey said Monday.
Bailey added the only serious damage in Hopkins County was a billboard along Interstate 69 which was blown down by high winds. The city electric department received no reports of power outages.
The scare came when storm sirens sounded twice in Hopkins County on Saturday morning. The first one occurred shortly before 7 a.m. for a severe thunderstorm warning. The second siren came minutes later, when a tornado warning was issued for part of the county.
"They set it up so that they're
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activated for severe thunderstorm warnings," Bailey said. He explained that decision goes back to when the current sirens were installed around 20 years ago.
The weather service confirmed two EF-1 tornadoes landed in Christian County, with winds approaching 100 miles per hour. One of them stayed on the ground for 11 miles from the Oak Grove area to Pembroke, damaging two homes and flipping 13 empty rail cars. The other twister damaged the roof of a barn southeast of Hopkinsville.
"It was close," Noles said. "The northwest corner of Christian County had some damage, along with part of Caldwell County."
Christian County High School received enough damage from the storm that a boys' basketball tournament there involving Madisonville North Hopkins was canceled Monday.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet issued several advisories beginning Saturday morning about state roads which were closed due to high water. The first closure in Hopkins County came Saturday afternoon, for KY 502 between Rabbit Ridge and Nebo.
Partial closings remained in effect until Monday morning for KY 3059 and KY 2281. Then a section of KY 1033 was closed near Vandetta. The KYTC still considered that road closed Monday afternoon.
While Monday was calm by comparison, don't get too comfortable. The weather service advised Hopkins County has a risk of thunderstorms late tonight and Wednesday. Flooding will be a concern through next weekend.