Region dealing with aftermath of derecho storms

Published 5:24 pm Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Extensive damage north of Ironton floodwall, Proctorville

While there was some damage in downtown Ironton in the form of downed trees and broken windows, once you drove north of the city’s floodwall, the full scope of Tuesday morning’s storms became apparent.

The Laidback Bar and Grill was destroyed, its roof blown off and the building severely damaged, while surrounding trailers and campers were overturned and power lines were down throughout the area.

Power lines were toppled and led to the closure of Solida Road in South Point, where much of the village was without power, following Tuesday morning’s storms. (The Ironton Tribune | heath Harrison)

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On the opposite end of the county, Proctorville Mayor Bill Elliott said his municipality was closed, other than to residents and emergency vehicles, as crews dealt with extensive damage.

The winds collapsed the roof and some walls on the Proctorville Volunteer Fire Department building.

Roofs were reported ripped off at Fairland schools, while many buildings in the village suffered extensive damage. The bridge into Proctorville was closed at one point, due to an overturned tractor trailer.

The remains of the Laidback Bar and Grill in Ironton, which was severely damaged in Tuesday morning’s storms. (The Ironton Tribune | heath Harrison)

As of 5 p.m., American Electric Power said 13,000 customers in Ohio were without power and Lawrence County was the hardest hit. Crews from other states were headed to help restore electric power.

The National Weather Service reported a derecho event for the region, stretching from central Kentucky into western Virginia, with high winds causing numerous outages and damage, while a tornadic damage was confirmed in Boyd County, Kentucky, south of Ashland.

The Lawrence County Commission declared a state of emergency for the county, as a result of the storms, while the Lawrence County Courthouse was among the many closures across the region. Schools were fortunate to be on spring break in the county this week.

In South Point, there was heavy damage to power lines, with Solida Road shut down due to toppled electric poles, which hung over the street. Power was out to much of the village and many in the county have had no phone or Internet service.

Across the Ohio River, Greenup County was without electricity in many areas as of 5 p.m. Tuesday and there was damage to several buildings at the Greenup County Fairgrounds.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency and Greenup County, Boyd County, the City of Ashland and the City of Catlettsburg issued disaster declarations.