FULTON COUNTY, KY (KFVS) - The National Weather Service confirmed two tornadoes in Fulton County, Kentucky on Thursday night, March 9.
The first tornado, an EF1 traveled from 8 miles northwest of Hickman to 5 miles southeast of Hickman. It had a peak wind of 110 miles per hour.
The second tornado, an EF2 traveled from east of Hickman southeast to the Tennessee border. It had a peak wind of 125 miles per hour.
The NWS also reports straight line wind damage in Fulton County, southwest of the tornado tracks.
The Kentucky Office of Emergency Management is continuing their assessment. Their assessment to date has discovered damage to approximately 25 residences and 5 businesses. They have also noted damage to 30-40 headstones in the city cemetery. The National Weather Service is also conducting an assessment, which includes determining wind speeds, the cause of the damage and the path.
Damage along the EF1 tornado path was mainly to farm buildings and crops and is described as widespread. Damage along the EF2 tornado path was significant with at least one home completely destroyed.
Fulton County Judge Executive Jim Martin signed a state of emergency declaration for Fulton and Hickman counties.
Hickman Electric is still in the process of restoring electricity to customers, with the majority completed. The number of displaced residents of Hickman City/Fulton County has been minimal due to "the close-knit community helping each other."
County leaders held a press conference at 9:30 a.m. Friday to discuss the situation. The public was asked to stay out of the area due to continued safety concerns with electrical lines.
According to Gibson Electric, crews restored power to all but two of the 2,500 members who didn't have power. Both of these outages are south of Hickman, with one in Fulton County and the other in Obion County. They expected to have service restored to them by the end of Friday. Electric company representatives said they would continue to work until public utilities are fully restored.
The American Red Cross is maintaining a shelter at First Methodist Church on Wellington Street in Hickman. However, it was closed Friday night due to lack of need. An assessment will be made by Fulton County Emergency Management Saturday, with regard to the weather and if people are still without power.
All roads have been reopened and are expected to remain open. There are no gas stations open in the City of Hickman, and may not be open until the latter part of the week. People entering the area should plan accordingly.
Hickman City's Waste Lift Station has returned to full function. Contractors are currently in the process of returning the Fulton County Jail/Dispatch Center to full functional status.
According to Kentucky State Police, construction debris and sheet metal can be placed (separated) in large containers located across from Hickman City Hall on 7th Street. A similar location is anticipated to be opened at the intersection of Myron Street at 7th Street.
Troopers say Hickman/Fulton County is not accepting donations at this time.
Donation and Volunteer Services are being coordinated by West Hickman Baptist Church on South 7th Street.
Damage in Fulton County
Due to the storm damage, all Fulton County schools were closed on Friday.
According to Kentucky State Police, numerous homes, several businesses, two government buildings, and a cemetery all have significant damage.
The dispatch center for the Fulton County KY Sheriff's Office was in the process of being moved after it was damaged.
The center was housed in the Fulton County Jail, which was also damaged.
According to Kentucky State Police, the detention center had roof damage to a section of the jail and officials there reported to the Department of Corrections that 80 inmates were temporarily relocated.
The First Alert Weather Team reported the possible tornado was on the ground shortly before 8:30 Thursday night. Not long after, debris was spotted on First Alert Doppler Radar. Confirmation of a possible tornado will have to be done after the National Weather Service surveys the area.
According to Kentucky State Police, they responded to the city of Hickman around 9 p.m. to help with search and rescue efforts.
First responders noted major damage in the city near the Little General Store, as well as along Highway 125.
According to KSP, disaster response was being coordinated by Emergency Management Director Hugh Caldwell.