Only a few days after disaster relief workers closed up sites in western Kentucky following nearly three weeks helping with tornado recovery, a new weather episode — this time devastating floods and five more tornadoes – has paralyzed parts of the state.
A flood recovery operation has been stationed at First Baptist Church Belfry with a team arriving Sunday night and two recovery teams coming Monday night. A small feeding team and two chaplains will be working the devastated Pike County area, said Ron Crow, who leads Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief.
Crow planned to take supplies and a mobile office to them on Sunday before returning home. The severe weather comes three weeks after deadly tornadoes ripped through Kentucky, killing 77.
‘Not forgetting western Kentucky’
In Campbellsville, Hopkinsville, and Madison County, assessors were on the ground Saturday and kept working Sunday to begin preliminary plans on what response is need to the latest damage.
“We are not forgetting western Kentucky,” Crow said in an email update late Saturday night. “The continued needs there will still be our focus too. We still have some equipment there that we are working on getting back to Stanford. Our volunteers are tired, but amazing that they once again are stepping up like they always do.”
The severe weather system on New Year’s Day impacted much of western, eastern and south central Kentucky with at least five tornadoes and massive flooding to thousands of Kentuckians.
Tornadoes swept through Hopkinsville and Bowling Green, according to storm damage surveys by the National Weather Service. There were no immediate reports of any deaths or injuries.
The NWS confirmed the New Year’s Day tornadoes on Sunday afternoon.
The Kentucky governor’s office reported flash flooding had caused water rescues and many road closures in the southern and central portions of the state. Gov. Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency Saturday.
Flash flooding in Green, Barren, Taylor, Adair, Owsley, Breathitt and Casey counties has resulted in numerous road closures and water rescues. High water was blocking all or parts of multiple roads in Floyd, Knott and Pike counties as of noon. Casey County and Owsley County have declared local states of emergency.
A tornado touchdown was reported in Hopkinsville, causing severe damage to downtown businesses, and a possible tornado touchdown was reported in Taylor County, where numerous households have been damaged. Severe thunderstorm warnings have also been issued for Logan, Simpson, Marion and Washington counties.
“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 in a statement.