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UPDATE: Beshear declares state of emergency in Kentucky after severe weather

A photo of Louisville Metro Hall obscured by a rain-covered window.
J. Tyler Franklin
A photo of Louisville Metro Hall obscured by a rain-covered window.

Severe storms remain likely through the afternoon and early evening Tuesday. Damaging winds, hail, localized flooding and tornadoes are possible.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has declared a state of emergency after severe storms moved across Kentucky Tuesday morning. More severe weather is expected Tuesday afternoon.

“We have reports of substantial damage to a number of structures – and thankfully, as of right now we are not aware of any fatalities,” Beshear said in a news release.

Beshear closed all executive branch state office buildings effective at 1 p.m. Tuesday. He also enacted the state’s price gouging laws. It’s a measure often taken during emergencies to stop sellers from drastically increasing prices on necessary goods during a disaster.

University of Louisville also shutdown operations at 1 p.m. Tuesday. Afternoon and evening classes are all canceled.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the National Weather Service continued to warn of the possibility for strong winds, hail, flooding and tornadoes into the early evening.

Kevin Farina, a meteorologist from the National Weather Service in Louisville, confirmed strong thunderstorms with reports of some tornadoes Tuesday morning.

He said NWS officials were surveying storm damage after the worst of it passed through the region. The most serious reports as of Tuesday morning were downed trees, damage to roofs and an overturned truck near Lexington.

Farina predicted more severe weather later in the day.

“When and where is still in doubt, but we could see another tornado watch this afternoon,” he said.

Farina recommended caution throughout the day Tuesday.

“Keep an eye on the TV, or NOAA weather radio or your phone,” Farina said. “And as soon as you hear the word ‘warning,’ it's time to take cover.”

Severe weather is common in the region as the weather gets warmer.

“There's really cold air to our north and there's really warm air to our south. And you know, the spring is notorious for that,” he said.

Tornadoes are more rare in the colder months, though an intense tornado ripped through western Kentucky in December of 2021. The hardest hit places in the region are still working to fully recover.


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