Tribune-Courier News Reporter
CALVERT CITY – A tornado touched down on the north side of Marshall County shortly after 9 p.m. Halloween night causing damage to several businesses in the area.
Most noticeable was the damage caused at a strip mall along U.S. Hwy 62, near the intersection of Oak Park Boulevard.
The tornado, which was classified by the National Weather Service (NWS) as an F0, with winds between 40 and 72 miles per hour, touched down behind the Church of Christ in Calvert City and traveled northeasterly for four-tenths of a mile toward the strip mall which houses three businesses.
The damage to the strip mall included a partially ripped away roof, downed power lines and a ruptured gas line, which could be smelled by the neighboring Marathon Gas Station.
Meteorologist Chris Noles said the NWS recorded 60 mph winds in the area surrounding the tornado’s path.
Doug Galyen is co-owner of the building which is leased to several tenants including Curves, A Color Bar Salon and Kwik Cash. He said he was grateful no one was injured.
Galyen said he arrived at the scene shortly after hearing about the damage and stayed on site until around 1 a.m.
“I wanted to make sure there were no safety issues,” he said. “The Calvert City Fire Department really did an outstanding job of keeping people away from the area and handling the scene – there must have been at least three fire trucks and 12 firemen working. None of us wanted anyone to get too close because of the gas leak. You could smell it at the gas station and we didn’t want anyone near just in case a fire did start.”
“I’ve spoken with Peel and Holland, our insurance agency, and we’re hoping to fix everything as quickly as possible,” he said. “I expect it’ll all work out just fine.”
The damage done to the strip mall was more severe on the north side, but damage to the roof was apparent across the entire building.
Tracy Sinclair, owner of Curves, was out of town when the tornado hit the building, but Sheila Hawkins, an employee at the gym, said the owner has been in contact with the insurance agency to get everything sorted out.
“We’ll have to see about what we can do to salvage the things we can,” she said. “But as soon as everything is fixed we’ll be open for business.”
Tracy Faith, owner of Color Bar Salon, found out about the damage moments after it happened and said she was grateful it wasn’t more severe.
“You can see sky through the ceiling at the gym, but when I heard about the damage I thought someone was overreacting,” she said. “But then I thought, ‘What if it’s all gone?,’ but luckily all of the salon’s stuff is fine.”
Faith, who opened the salon three years ago, said she went to the site as soon as she heard, but because it was blocked off because of a gas leak she didn’t know how bad the damage was until later.
Duane Hawes, chief deputy director of Marshall County Emergency Management, was on scene Friday morning. He said emergency personnel were prepared when the tornado hit because the area had been under severe weather warnings.