4/21/2011 3:00:00 PM Area begins assessment of damage from storm
Rod Asher, of Shilo Farms, has his morning cup of coffee (above) while surveying the wreckage left in the wake of a powerful storm that moved across his property in northern Jefferson County Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. A house trailer Asher and his wife, Jenny, had been using for storage and several kennels were picked up by the storm and strewn across their property. Jenny Asher said their animals, including 12 horses and several dogs, all survived. (Staff photos by Ken Ritchie)
Evan Shields Courier Staff Writer
After a storm producing strong wind rolled through the area early Wednesday morning, people across all four counties on both sides of the river were assessing the damage.
At Shilo Farms in northern Jefferson County near Canaan, Rod Asher, who owns the farm, had a few sections of his barn roof torn off, and the wind carried a trailer about 50 yards before destroying it.
"It's kind of like the stuff you see on TV," Asher said.
The trailer home was mostly used as a storage facility for Asher, and the storm scattered his tools and supplies "from here to tomorrow."
Asher is convinced a tornado came through his farm. He said the sound he heard around 1 a.m. sounded like a freight train, which is commonly the sound tornadoes are compared with.
"It's the second one I've experienced in my life," said Asher, who experienced his first tornado when he was 7. "Same sound. I'll never forget it, either."
Asher had an Ashley wood stove - weighing about 500 pounds - that was lying on top of the wreckage from the roof of the trailer. Asher, a collector of copper-head pennies, said his 55-gallon drum of pennies was blown about 30 yards in the storm.
Asher offers horse rides at his farm and said the damage is going to have a big impact on his business. He doesn't want to take anyone riding through the damage and said he will likely have to shut down for a week.
AGood Friday, he said, is one of the busiest times for him. Asher said he did not know how much it would cost to repair the trailer.
As Asher looked out at the wreckage and showed where his trailer had been and where trees had been knocked over, he couldn't believe that his family's belongings had been strewn across his land. But he stayed focused on the bigger picture.
"That's all you really got to care about, that nobody got hurt," he said.
Damages were few and far between throughout the area and there were no reports of injuries. Jefferson County Sheriff John Wallace said there had been very few reports of any incidents in the county by Wednesday morning. A tree had fallen into an outbuilding on East State Road 56 and then fell into the road. That road had to be closed for the majority of Wednesday morning.
Otherwise, Wallace said there were several reports of trees and power lines that were down and a few damaged barns in Deputy.
Duke Energy reported more than 36,000 outages across the state with more than 4,600 outages in Jefferson County alone.