David and Esli Pelly surveyed the damage to their business, The Garden Patch, this morning after strong winds early today rumbled through and toppled trees, power lines and barns in the Smiths Grove area.

“The barn will not reopen until we can rebuild,” David Pelly said.

He did not know an exact date of when the Garden Patch’s Fresh Farm Market will reopen.

There was minor damage to two of the greenhouses where most of the gardening is done. However, The Garden Patch is expected to open the final weekend of March as planned, he said.

“We basically had three barns destroyed,” David Pelly said. “We’ll regroup and rebuild.”

Their daughter, Croslin Pelly, and her toddler son, live in a home next to where the damage occurred. Croslin Pelly came over to the her parents’ home at about 3:30 a.m. because she was afraid the storm would damage her home as well, David Pelly said.

“I did not know the extent (of the damage) until I got over here in the daylight,” David Pelly said.

Although the damage to The Garden Patch property was significant, Esli Pelly said the most important thing to her was that her family was safe and that her daughter’s home was not damaged.

“We’re just so blessed and that nothing happened to my daughter and her house,” Esli said as Sheldon the sheep chased Pete, the family dog.

Strong winds caused power outages and property damage throughout Warren County this morning.

The winds began at about 2 a.m., causing power outages to 5,000 members of Warren Rural Electric Cooperative Corp. At about 7 a.m., 1,100 customers were still without power, with a majority of the outages in the Oakland, Smiths Grove and Park City areas, according to a Warren Rural Electric news release.

Crews were working at press time to get the power back on.

“It looks like most of the damage is around the Smiths Grove and Oakland areas,” said Brian Geringswald, deputy director of Warren County Emergency Management.

Large tree limbs littered the roadsides along Hays Smiths Grove Road.

David and Esli Pelly were at their home at the time of the storm, across the street from their business, known for its garden shop, fresh food and antiques.

Others in the Smiths Grove area were shocked when they woke up to the damage this morning.

“I think they were well-surprised to what they woke up to this morning,” Geringswald said. “There is a good amount of property damage.”

Other property damage reported this morning was in Edmonson County, he said.

The National Weather Service has been called to the storm area to assess the winds and determine whether the damage was caused by a small tornado or straight-line winds, Geringswald said.

A tractor-trailer overturned on Interstate 65 in Warren County at the 38 mile marker southbound at about 3:30 a.m.

“It appeared to be blown over by the wind,” said Jason Smith, deputy chief of the Smiths Grove Volunteer Fire Department.

No one was injured.

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