Deadly storm rips path across Kentucky; Nearly 100 in Danville still without power

Published 7:36 pm Monday, March 6, 2023

At least five people are confirmed dead and hundreds of thousands of customers were without power over the weekend due to the severe weather outbreak that ripped through Kentucky on Friday.

On Monday, 98 customers in Boyle County still were without power, according to Kentucky Utilities. The utility said it expects to have power fully restored by Wednesday.

According to published reports, more people were without power in Kentucky (over 400,000) than any other state in the storm that traveled throughout the day from Texas to the Carolinas.

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The storm spawned tornadoes throughout its path and was blamed for nine deaths across the country, including five in Kentucky.

On Saturday, Gov. Andy Beshear gave the locations and ages of the victims: A 23-year old man in Edmonson County, a 63-year-old man in Logan County, an 84-year old man in Bath County, a 68-year-old man in Simpson County and a 41-year-old woman in Fayette County.

While at least two tornadoes were reported in McCracken and Christian counties, and flash flooding in some areas, the main culprits during the Friday weather event were a line of severe thunderstorms, followed by intense winds.

Winds of 70-75 mph were recorded across the state.

The governor issued a state of emergency on Friday and ordered government offices to close by noon.

On Saturday, a total of 396,517 Kentuckians were without electricity. In Danville, trees were downed and traffic lights around town were out of service.

Beshear said some emergency management communications are running on generators, with Kentucky State Police offering radio service as needed, so emergency operations in the impacted counties can be active. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the Division of Forestry are working to clear trees and debris from roads.

“We also responded to at least six semi-trucks that were blown off the road or overturned in parking lots,” Beshear said. “We believe all of those are now cleared, and while there were concerns about potential hazardous materials on board, those are all cleaned and cleared.”

Emergency Management Director Jeremy Slinker cautioned people about safety when using a portable generator during a power outage. 

“Do not use a generator indoors, that can cause illness or death,” he said.

Slinker also reminded people to avoid downed power lines.

“Call your power company and report it,” he said. “ If there is a fire concern, call 9-1-1 and have local first responders come out to help you.”