Having just concluded the statewide tornado drill, it’s appropriate for us to look back on one of Lexington’s worst tornado touchdowns. On this date in 1986 (coincidentally, also the date of the statewide tornado drill that year), an F2 tornado began near Tates Creek Road and Man O’War Boulevard just before 5:00 pm. It traveled northeast, roughly paralleling Man O’War, before lifting at Richmond Road. 20 people were injured and 845 structures sustained a total of 50 million dollars in damage.
One witness’ dinner preparations were interrupted as he stood at his grill: “When I flipped one of the steaks and it didn’t come back down, I knew it was time to go inside.” Now that’s a sign!
For more information on this severe weather event, including damage photos and eyewitness accounts, check out the National Weather Service’s history page about it.