There have been twenty-one confirmed deaths in Kentucky after tornadoes tore through the state on Friday. Seven of those deaths were in Morgan County, where the county seat, West Liberty, was leveled by the storms. Louisville resident Alex Wright is a doctor with Norton Healthcare Systems. West Liberty is his hometown, and his extended family still lives there. He headed to the town Saturday morning to see how he could help, and described the scene he saw driving through downtown to Kentucky Public Radio’s Erica Peterson.
Kentuckians displaced by recent storms who receive Medicaid benefits can receive up to a 30 day supply of their medicines with co-pays waived. Governor Beshear issued the first-ever executive order of this kind, which also allows residents of counties that were declared in a state of emergency to receive emergency refills. The order does not allow for emergency refills of controlled substances.
Kentuckians are just beginning the gauge the economic cost of the weekend’s disaster. A more complete picture will become apparent once damage assessments are complete. However, there are economic trends that follow a tornado. For example, economist Kevin Timmons says full recovery is likely. In fact, Timmons says some communities re-invent themselves after devastating weather. He spoke with reporter Charles Compton.
Kevin Timmons is a professor of economics at Austin College in Texas. He’s co-author of “The Economic and Societal Impact of Tornadoes” and “Deadly Season.”
Damage Reports are coming in following a line of storms in far western Kentucky that continue to move east through our region. Police in Crittenden County say there have been a few reports of trees down across a few roads, but nothing severe at this point. There is a storm shelter open at the Crittenden County Courthouse. In Hopkins County officials say they’ve had no reports of damage thus far. A shelter is open at that courthouse as well. Officials in Ballard County say strong winds ripped the roof off of a trailer in LaCentre. And there are also some reports of trees down..
National Weather Service meteorologists say our region could see some severe weather tonight through tomorrow morning. A warm front will move north through the area this evening bringing widespread showers and thunderstorms overnight. Forecasters say this means a few severe storms are possible tonight, with the main threats being damaging winds and large hail. A cold second front will follow the warm one east out of southeast Missouri around sunrise tomorrow. We could see high winds, large hail, and even tornados tomorrow morning. Locally heavy rainfall of one to two inches is possible