The severe weather that battered Kentucky over the past weekend has left some communities grieving over relatives and neighbors who lost their lives.
The Saturday flooding took the life of an elderly Union County farmer and a Simpson County man. A Logan County woman died on Saturday when a tornado struck her home.
The warnings about the deadly nature of flooded roadways keep coming from police and transportation officials, but it’s still difficult to make a spur-of-the-moment decision when your vehicle suddenly comes up on a flooded roadway.
A 77-year-old farmer from Union County made a fatal choice on Hitesville Road and Kentucky 359 about 15 miles from downtown Henderson.
Union County Coroner Stephen Shouse said a flooded road turned tragic for Joseph Lee Nally.
“Mr. Nally was attempting to return his grandson to his residence when he found the roadway underwater from heavy rainfall,” said Shouse. “He underestimated the depth and the current and his vehicle was swept off the roadway into a ditch adjacent to the roadway. He was not able to exit the vehicle and drowned.”
Shouse said Nally’s 16-year-old grandson was able to get out of the submerged pickup truck and call for help.
A flooded road in Simpson County claimed the life of 69-year-old Kenneth Boren of Franklin, when his vehicle was swept into Drake's Creek
Kentucky Emergency Management continues to remind drivers to “turn around,don’t drown.”
On Saturday afternoon a tornado struck Logan County and tore the roof off a house near Adairville, killing 79-year-old Dallas Jane Combs. Her husband, John, was in the basement at the time and was not seriously injured.
The National Weather Service confirmed that an EF-2 tornado touched down on the property. An EF-2 tornado can have a wind speeds of up to 135 m.p.h.
The storms over the past few days have brought dramatic amounts of rainfall across Kentucky, with the central and western parts of the state hit particularly hard.
Megan Schargorodski is manager of Kentucky Mesonet, a statewide climate and weather monitoring network.
“The highest that we recorded was 7.41 inches in McLean County. We also have several others that are above seven inches and most of them are above six inches,” she said. Those totals are for 72 hours, from Thursday through Saturday.
Schargorodski said several of the Mesonet weather monitoring stations have recorded more than 10 inches of rain so far for the month of February.
The excessive rainfall has caused the ground to be saturated, resulting in extensive problems with standing water and road closures which have caused some schools and business to shut down until the waters recede.