Home of The Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs, Hit By Tornado

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Churchill Downs, home of The Kentucky Derby, was hit hard by a possible tornado on Wednesday June 23rd as a wave of strong thunderstorms hit the Louisville area. This tornado touched down in the infield and left several horse barns damaged. It has also halted races temporaily at the track and they have no idea when racing will continue.

A track spokesperson said that it was a miracle that no one, including the horses, was hurt when the storm hit Wednesday evening. At press time, there were nine horse barns with varying levels of damage. One of the horse barns had a big massive hole in the roof.
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In the areas around Churchill Downs, many were without power. One of the horse trainers said that on Wednesday evening the winds were pretty strong and he could see a funnel cloud moving toward Churchill Downs. It was coming in on the backside of the track. One of the barns that had a hole put in the roof broke the water main so they had to move the horses that were in the barn into another barn.

They are also reporting that the high winds picked up beams on the side of the barns that were closest to the track but they do not know if there was any damage to the actual track itself or how many beams are going to be on the track. There was even a piece of timber that was driven into the roof of a barn.

More headlines on Churhill Downs Damage:

Churchill Downs cleanup begins after possible tornado; 400 remain without …
Cincinnati.com, on Thu, 23 Jun 2011 07:33:12 -0700

One of the hardest hit areas was the Churchill Downs backside. Baldemar Bahena, top assistant for Churchill Downs horse trainer Dale Romans said Thursday morning, that the storm “was scary.” He said there were some “pretty strong winds” and he could 

 

Churchill Downs in KY hit hard by possible twister
WNEM Saginaw, on Thu, 23 Jun 2011 00:40:34 -0700

He said it’s “highly probable” that one hit near Churchill Downs. Flanery said if a tornado is confirmed, it would be the first one known to strike Churchill Downs. Track chaplain Ken Boehm said the walls, siding and roof at the chapel at the track 

 

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