Severe Weather Causes Deaths in Southern Kentucky, Damage in Hopkinsville, Flooding in Owensboro

Feb 26, 2018

A tornado damaged an apartment complex in Hopkinsville Saturday.
Credit Michael Pape

Storm crews have confirmed an EF2 tornado struck in south central Kentucky where a woman died at her home.

The National Weather Service says preliminary information from ongoing damage surveys in Logan County indicate the tornado Saturday had maximum-sustained winds of 135 mph (217 kph) and a maximum width of 400 yards (366 meters).

The Logan County Sheriff's Office says 79-year-old Dallas Jane Combs died after the tornado destroyed her Adairville home. Sheriff officials said Combs was inside the home when it collapsed on her. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities say Combs' husband was outside putting up plastic to keep rain out of the home when he was blown into the basement area. He sustained minor injuries.

Drowning Deaths in Region

Police say the body of a male has been recovered from a vehicle found submerged in floodwaters.

The Simpson County Sheriff's Office says in a statement the body was recovered Saturday in a creek near the community of Franklin.

Authorities in western Kentucky say they've found a body inside a submerged vehicle.

The Henderson Fire Department says on its Facebook page that it assisted in the recovery of the body inside a vehicle in a ditch. The Gleaner reports the body was found Saturday night near Morganfield, Kentucky.

The body has been sent to a medical examiner for an autopsy.

Damage in Hopkinsville

The National Weather Service office in Paducah has confirmed an E-F-2 tornado impacted Hopkinsville Saturday, with peak winds of 135 miles per hour.

WKMS reports that Hopkinsville Mayor Carter Hendricks said the areas of Fort Campbell Boulevard and Calvin Drive experienced damage due to the tornado.

Eagle Crossing Apartments and some area businesses were damaged by wind.

Hendricks said several families in the apartment complex have been displaced and are receivingassistance from the Red Cross. He said no major injuries have been reported.

Tornado near Clarksville, TN

Storm crews have confirmed an EF2 tornado touched down in Middle Tennessee over the weekend.

The National Weather Service in Nashville, Tennessee, says the tornado with maximum-sustained winds of 120 mph (193 kph) hit near Clarksville on Saturday.

Montgomery County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Sandra Brandon told The Leaf-Chronicle that at least four homes were destroyed and dozens of others were damaged. She says 75 cars also were damaged at a tire plant parking lot.

Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett said Sunday that "to look at what I'm looking at and know we didn't lose anybody is just a miracle."

During the storm, a teenage girl was hit by falling debris at a basketball game after an apparent lightning strike knocked a hole in the arena's roof at Austin Peay State University. She was taken to a hospital as a precaution.

Flooding Along the Ohio River in Daviess County

The weekend rain has been wreaking havoc in the Daviess County region.

The National Weather Service predicts the Ohio River will crest in Owensboro today at 47 feet.

The Messenger-Inquirer reports that would make this to the seventh-worst flooding event on record.

Daviess County Judge Executive Al Mattingly declared a local state of emergency as homes and businesses were impacted.

Smothers Park, in downtown Owensboro on the Ohio River, is flooded.

City workers wrapped the park’s water features in a landscaping tarp and placed sandbags around them in an effort to protect the marble.

Parts of several Daviess County roads are closed due to flooding.

Indiana and Missouri Also Impacted

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has declared a disaster emergency for 11 counties in the wake of widespread flooding and related damage.

Holcomb issued the order Saturday for Carroll, Dearborn, Elkhart, Fulton, Lake, Marshall, Perry, St. Joseph, Starke, Switzerland and White counties. Officials say others could be added with more storms forecast in southern Indiana.

The declaration means the state can provide expanded emergency services and request aid from the federal government.

An Emergency Operations Center activated Thursday has coordinated the delivery of roughly 700,000 sandbags, two water pumps and other equipment and services for disaster response and recovery. Officials say some areas of the state have received record-level rainfall and significant flood damage.

Other states have issued similar orders: Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens declared a state of emergency ahead of expected storms and flooding in southern parts of the state and Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner issued a state disaster proclamation for three counties hit by flooding.