Rest stop damaged by storm reopen

BOONE COUNTY, KY (FOX19) - Two rest stops that were severely damaged by Wednesday morning's storms are now reopen.

Both the northbound and southbound sides of the I-75/71 rest area in Florence suffered severe damage and were without power most of Wednesday.

As of 8:30 p.m. Wednesday night, power was restored and both the rest areas were opened.  Crews are still cleaning up debris from the storm, but the rest room facilities are open for the public.

Crews had been hard at work all day Wednesday, trying to cut-up fallen trees, clear away debris from driving areas and parking spaces.

They also cleared away a bank of soda machines, because straight-line winds leveled the entire vending area and carved a path of destruction through neighborhoods.

It will take days to clean-up from this latest round of storms.

The sounds of saws and hammers could be heard, hard at work, getting rid of what the storms left behind on Frogtown Road.

Everyone trying to get out and repair damage done by uprooted trees, downed power lines and all sorts of twisted metal hanging from odd places. The wind was ferocious.

"It was just really really loud wind howling like I've never heard before," said Laura Redmon. "And it was so quick by the time we were going to our shelter spot it was over."

Up the road at Baeten's Nursery, they're thankful it wasn't any worse than it was.

"We're a week and a half away from our busiest time of the year," said Todd Baeten.

The nursery was left nearly untouched.

"It just missed us in a big way," Baeten said. "It'd be like taking the roof off a Kohl's or a Macy's right before Christmas Day."

"It was very scary, very loud," said Christy Eaton. "I got the call from my mom about 1-something in the morning telling me to get to the basement."

Eaton woke-up her husband and their son and headed downstairs.

"You could just hear the wind coming," Eaton said. "Actually blew open one of our windows and was pretty scary."

The few trampolines in the neighborhood became wind-borne and bounced up and down the streets.

"Came over their house," Eaton said pointing to a neighbor's home down the street. "Took out a mailbox and ended-up right here."

The wind clobbered the rest-stop near Mount Zion, leveling a concession stand. It left it looking like a ton of life-sized Lego-Land blocks.

"Me and my wife were in the front bedroom getting ready to go to bed," said Bill Chandler.

In Dayton, Kentucky, the storm brought the Chandler family a real stunner.

"I got part of a roof laying on top of my car," Chandler said, in-shock, as he looked out his front door.

His Hyundai was covered in shingles and tangled, hot power lines, with another section of that roof, dangling over his driveway.

"I come running down here after I heard the bang against the house and there it was," he said.

It took Chandler a good while to assess all the damage to his car. Power had to be cut to that still very much active line caught in the debris. He said the back window got shattered.

Copyright 2011 FOX19. All Rights Reserved.