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Storm damages Turfway Park stables

Friday, May 26, 2006 12:00 AM
  • General
FLORENCE, KY . . . May 26, 2006 . . . Severe weather and high winds passed through Turfway Park Thursday evening about 7:15 p.m., damaging many of the track’s 20 barns and downing some power lines in the stable area.

No injuries to horses or humans were reported. While Turfway Park is not currently conducting live racing, approximately 700 horses are stabled at the track for training.

"We have a mess to clean up but we’re thankful the damage is not any greater than it is," said Turfway Park president Robert Elliston. "Our crews were out here right away last night going door to door and barn to barn to make sure no one was hurt."

Damage to the barns ranged from dangling gutters on some to missing portions of roofs on others. Most barns with roof damage retained the corrugated underlay of the roof but lost the top layer of wood and rubber sheeting. One dormitory also lost part of its roof and residents were temporarily relocated. Debris was blown onto the track but the Polytrack surface was not damaged. The grandstand sustained minor damage to neon signage and the third floor eaves.

Power was lost in both the grandstand and the stable area, and the stable area remained without power Friday morning.

Temporary repairs will begin immediately, followed by permanent restoration. The track does not anticipate the need to relocate horses off the grounds while repairs are progressing. Cost of the repairs has not been determined.

The track was closed for training on Friday as crews continued to clear debris from roadways between the barns and approaches to the track. Training is expected to resume on Saturday.

Although residents reported funnel formations in the clouds, the National Weather Service has not confirmed reports of a tornado in the Florence area.

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