Governor Beshear issues State of Emergency for Kentucky


Kentucky Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear speaks to the press at the Capitol in Frankfort, Ky., Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020.

Alexandria Anderson, News reporter

Governor Andy Beshear issued a State of Emergency for Kentucky on Saturday due to the severe weather that has impacted much of western, eastern and south central Kentucky on the first day of the new year.

The line of storms comes less than a month after the tornadoes that devastated places such as Mayfield and destroyed parts of Bowling Green on Dec. 11.

The powerful weather system generated thunderstorms, heavy rain, tornadoes, hail and strong winds that have caused severe problems throughout the state. The system was responsible for loss of power, infrastructure damage and harm to private and public properties.

Flash flooding has resulted in road closures and water rescues in Green, Barren, Taylor, Adair, Owsley, Breathitt and Casey counties. Heavy rainfall is still expected for much of the day, with totals of two to five inches.

Tornado touchdowns were reported in Hopkinsville and one possible touchdown in Taylor county, where it was reported that multiple households were damaged.

“It is devastating that we are once again experiencing severe weather just weeks after the deadly tornadoes hit Western Kentucky. Sadly, some counties have been affected by both of these events,” Beshear said. “We will continue to monitor the weather and provide needed updates. Everyone be aware, stay safe and seek shelter when advised.”

The State Emergency Operations Center has been activated by Kentucky Emergency Management. Personnel from the Kentucky National Guard, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Kentucky State Police and Kentucky Department of Public Health are currently monitoring the situation.

“Unfortunately, we continue to experience severe weather in the commonwealth as we move into the new year, with impacts across our south central counties experiencing heavy rainfall, flash flooding, tornado strikes and continuous squall lines,” Michael Dossett, director of Kentucky Emergency Management said. “Please give way to emergency responders operating in numerous counties and stay off of transportation routes today if at all possible.”

WKU students and faculty received an emergency text alert regarding the tornado warning for the Bowling Green area with instructions to seek shelter immediately on the lowest level or safest area of your building until the warning was over.

News reporter Alexandria Anderson can be reached at [email protected].