FRANKFORT - Gov. Steve Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson are touring devastated areas across the state. The powerful storms caused widespread damage in 40 Kentucky counties. Beshear will view damages in West Liberty (Morgan County), Salyersville (Magoffin County), and Piner (Kenton County) Saturday along with Adjutant General Ed Tonini, Sen. Damon Thayer, of Georgetown, and Sen. Robert Stivers, of Manchester. Abramson will visit East Bernstadt in Laurel County.
More than 220 National Guard Troops have been deployed to assist Johnson, Laurel, Magoffin, Menifee and Morgan counties with storm-related damages, according to a statement issued by the governor's office.
The Kentucky Department of Public Health has reported a total of 17 fatalities reported to the agency by local coroners. Due to a discrepancy in reporting, the number of fatalities in Menifee has been changed. Four fatalities have been reported in Laurel County, four in Morgan County, three in Kenton County, two in Johnson County, two in Menifee County, and two in Lawrence County. Approximately 300 injuries have been reported.
The governor declared a statewide emergency Friday to allow local officials immediate access to state resources to assist in public safety and recovery efforts. Ten counties have declared states of emergency: Bath, Campbell, Johnson, Kenton, Laurel, Lawrence, Magoffin, Pendleton, Rowan, and Trimble counties as well as the city of Paintsville.
Trained spotters and law enforcement officers throughout the state reported 13 tornadoes in Kentucky, according to Kentucky Emergency Management.
Damage assessments and rescue missions continue. Severe storms began rolling across the Commonwealth Friday afternoon beginning in the far western part of the state and moved north and east of the Ohio River from Indiana.
Donations and Assistance
Citizens are strongly discouraged from driving through damaged areas, or traveling to damaged areas in an unsolicited effort to assist. Emergency responders need unfettered access to roads to continue rescue missions and assessment efforts.
Individuals wishing to provide assistance should contact their local Red Cross agency to determine ways to help those affected by the storms.
Friends or family who have been unable to locate loved ones since Friday’s storms are encouraged to register the missing person’s information on the Kentucky Emergency Management website at www.kyem.ky.gov or through the American Red Cross Safe and Well Program at www.americanredcross.org.
Several shelters have opened by the Red Cross to accommodate citizens displaced by the storm:
· Elliott County High School
Sandy Hook, KY
· Lawrence County High School
100 Bulldog Lane
· Grant County High School
715 Warsaw Rd.
Dry Ridge, KY
· Laurel Fire Dept.
911 TLC Lane