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Gov. Beshear declares state of emergency due to severe weather, tornado watches in effect

Governor Andy Beshear announces state of emergency due to severe weather conditions in Kentucky.
Team Kentucky Update/YouTube
Governor Andy Beshear announces state of emergency due to severe weather conditions in Kentucky.

Gov. Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency on Friday as severe weather and high winds are expected across much of Kentucky. “Dangerous” wind gusts, flash flooding and tornadoes are forecasted across a large part of state until late afternoon.

“Today is going to be a dangerous weather day,” Beshear said in a press conference.

“We have already lost way too many people due to flooding, tornadoes, and other weather events, so we want everyone to be safe today. If you are a non-essential employee, do not travel and stay home.”

Flooding was reported in Louisville Friday morning, but Beshear advised that prolonged weather is expected, with severe wind gusts after fast moving thunderstorms. Kentuckians should prepare for flooding on roads and winds that could overturn vehicles, he said.

Sixty tornado watches have been issued across the state with isolated hail, mostly in western Kentucky and central parts of the state.

Two to five inches of rainfall for areas along and north of the Ohio River is expected and wind gusts will range between 45-55 mph into late Friday afternoon.

Central Kentucky, including Louisville, have been placed under a high wind warning for Friday between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. and there is a flood watch in effect until 4 p.m. Fridayfor regions of southern Indiana and much of Kentucky.

Several school districts in Kentucky called off in-person classes Friday, including Jefferson County Public Schools, Fayette County Public Schools. State office buildings have also been closed.

Many state universities canceled classes on Friday, including University of Kentucky, University of Louisville, Eastern Kentucky University and Western Kentucky University.

Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg said he would send home all non-essential Metro Government employees due to the severe weather threat, according to his press secretary.

Beshear predicted there would be power and internet outages across the state following the storm. Louisville Gas & Electric offers an updating map of power outage totals on its website and provides status updates during outages by texting STATUS to 4LGEKU (454358).

Friday has a high temperature of 67 degrees. And on the bright side, Saturday should be clear and safe to travel, with highs in the upper 50s.

Divya is LPM's Race & Equity Reporter. Email Divya at dkarthikeyan@lpm.org.

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