Tornado touches down at historic Churchill Downs - Social media keeps race fans informed [Sports]

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A series of severe storms passed through the Louisville area last night with the historic Churchill Downs race track suffering much damage. Before many residents even knew a tornado warning had been issued in the area, Darren Rogers, Senior Director of Communications & Media Services for Churchill Downs, was busy alerting Twitter followers of the storm's damage to the Churchill backside. Throughout the evening as new storm cells continued to form and pass over the same path as the preceding storms, @DerbyMedia, @courierjournal, our own @Louisvillecom, and many other media outlets continued to post updates on Twitter as information rolled in.

Darren Rogers reported roof damage to multiple barns, damage to the track chapel, downed trees, broken water main, and power outages at the track. Some of the nine barns reportedly damaged were those of Jinks Fires, Carl Nafzger, Steve Margolis, and Dale Romans. Rogers continued to tweet throughout the evening and posted videos of John Asher, track spokesman, detailing the damage and updating the public. Videos and pictures of the damage can be viewed on Twitter @DerbyMedia. A video of the morning press conference can be viewed below.

Romans Racing Stable kept their Facebook followers updated last night as well. The stable connections reported that they lost the roof off their barn, but all personnel and horses were fine. They have posted photos of the damage on their Facebook page Romans Racing Stables, Inc.

Although many horses and people had to relocate last night, no deaths or injuries have been reported. Churchill's landmark Twin Spires escaped any damage. Live racing, simulcasting, and training for Thursday have been cancelled. News just came in that racing will resume Friday with Downs After Dark to run as scheduled.

Photo: Jessie Oswald