The Washington Times-Herald

May 22, 2013

High winds hit area; cause damage

Lindsay Owens
Washington Times Herald

WASHINGTON — Daviess County and the city of Washington were hit hard by storms that passed through the area Tuesday morning.

High winds accompanying the storms ripped through the area damaging buildings, uprooting trees and sending a 20-foot piece of wood through a car parked on the lot of Washington Chrysler Center. 

Susan Leighty, owner of Daily’s Furniture 208 E. Main St., said she received a call about damage to her building around 3 a.m.

“We lost a roof 10 or 15 years ago so this isn’t nearly as bad,” Leighty said. “Debris from the other buildings that were damaged went through the plate glass. At three in the morning, there wasn’t much we could do, but we had the window boarded up by 8 a.m. Now, we are just waiting on insurance.  Compared to what Oklahoma has been through, this was nothing,”

The building that houses Bambini’s, a clothing/formal wear and accessories consignment shop, located at 218 E. Main St., received damage to the upper portion of its facade. Bricks from the top of the structure toppled through the street-level canopy leaving large holes.

Windows were busted on the upper floors of the building and pieces of the decorative molding, including the medallion once located in the middle, dropped from the structure and were captured by wrought iron located on the second level. Dangling cornices and other unsecure debris atop the structure have forced building owner Tony Graber, to block off a portion of Main St. to protect customers and drivers from falling debris. Graber and his wife own and operate The Lemon Tree located next to Bambini’s, as well as the building that houses The Giving Tree Flowers and Gifts.

“Bambini’s looks worse than it really is,” said Graber. “It’s really more decorative damage. We have equipment coming in to take down what is hanging. There doesn’t seem to be any roof damage, but we won’t know for sure until we get the equipment here to look on top of the building. We are just fortunate in comparison to the people in Oklahoma.”

The roof of the Antique Bar was severely damaged and much of the debris from the roof was deposited throughout the Main Street area. Several other structures also received damage and many trees were also uprooted in Eastside Park.

“There is quite a bit of damage around town,” said Mayor Joe Wellman. “It looks like the storm came in from the south and hit Main Street and the park pretty hard. Several beautiful trees are down in the park.”

Wellman said the city is doing its best to get everything cleaned up as quickly as possible. He also stated that if city residents have trees down in their yard, once those trees are cut up and placed into piles, the city would be able to come and pick them up.

Daviess-Martin REMC reported three power poles were broken off during the storm, 15 outages were reported and about 100 residents were without power. Washington Municipal Utilities was unsure how many outages occured within the city limits, but Wellman said he thought most of the outages were spotty.

“We had a few people without power here and there.”