WKU Public Radio News Staff
Tue August 30, 2005
Hurricane Katrina Slams Into Kentucky
Hopkinsville, KY – Kentucky remains under the gun from the remnants of Hurricane Katrina. The entire state is under a flood watch Tuesday with more heavy rain likely. Parts of the state could get as much as three additional inches.
A wind advisory is in effect through Tuesday afternoon along the Kentucky-Tennessee border with the highest wind speeds expected in early afternoon.
A storm that preceded Hurricane Katrina swamped Hopkinsville with a half foot of rain, forcing people to flee homes and businesses and causing the death of a child.
Chief Randy Graham of the Christian County Rescue Team says ten year old Deanna Petsch was swept by rushing water into a storm sewer. Authorities say she drowned Monday after falling into the rushing water while playing in a drainage ditch filled with high water near the storm sewer.
Emergency official Dee Hopper says high water closed roads and at least a dozen businesses along a main business corridor that connects Hopkinsville with nearby Fort Campbell. Dozens of homes were either evacuated or residents rented tractor-trailers to store belongings.
She says the north and south forks of the Little River surged over their banks.
Emergency shelters are open in Hopkinsville even as thousands of sandbags are being filled to try to hold back the Little River.
Hopper says authorities put up barricades to keep people out of flooded streets, but that didn't stop some people from trying to get through.
She says some people have been rescued from atop their cars.
Hopkinsville residents are worried about even more flooding from Katrina. Kentucky is under a flood watch until Wednesday morning. The National Weather Service says tropical storm force winds are possible in southern kentucky and rainfall could reach five inches.
In Hopkinsville, the storm that preceded Katrina was blamed for a section of roof to collapse early Monday at Christian County High School. Classes were not being held at the time. Two classrooms were destroyed and part of a wall fell in.
Governor Fletcher has declared Christian, Todd and Trigg Counties disaster areas as problems mount from flooding.
Schools are closed there and the weather service reports Barren River Lake has received seven inches of rain.