Kentucky Declares State of Emergency as Severe Weather System Brings Tornadoes, Flooding to US South

© AP Photo / James KenneyTerry Thornton, left, owner of Thornton Furniture in Bowling Green, Ky., talks with a cleanup crew about damage to his store after a storm Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022. Thornton said when the warnings sounded, everyone in the store got into an interior closet and no one was injured.
Terry Thornton, left, owner of Thornton Furniture in Bowling Green, Ky., talks with a cleanup crew about damage to his store after a storm Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022. Thornton said when the warnings sounded, everyone in the store got into an interior closet and no one was injured. - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.01.2022
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Earlier on Saturday, the National Weather Service (NWS) Storm Prediction Center issued an "enhanced risk" (Level 3 out of 5) warning for severe weather—including tornadoes, heavy snow, flash flooding and freezing rain—for the Tennessee Valley and other parts of southeast US.
New Year's day brought damaging winds, flooding, and tornado reports to several parts of eastern and western Kentucky, prompting Governor Andy Beshear to declare a State of Emergency.

"It is devastating that we are once again experiencing severe weather just weeks after the deadly tornadoes hit western Kentucky," Beshear said in a quoted statement, referring to the recent tornadoes that claimed dozens of lives. "Sadly, some counties have been affected by both of these events."

"We will continue to monitor the weather and provide needed updates. Everyone be aware, stay safe and seek shelter when advised," the Kentucky governor added.
The storm system brought heavy rain, thunderstorms, hail and strong, sustained winds to parts of western, eastern and south-central Kentucky, according to the release.
Tornadoes in the state were also reported in Hopkinsville and Taylor County.
Reports of structural damage, downed trees, and broken telephone poles were recorded by the Taylor County sheriff's office. Local reports also detailed that rising floodwaters had prompted several water rescues in central Kentucky's Green County.
Kentucky was not the only state to be impacted by the weather system, as similar thunderstorm warnings were issued by the NWS for parts of the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys.
A tornado watch has been issued for several areas in north and central Alabama, including the counties of Blount, Cullman, DeKalb, Madison, Franklin, Jackson, and Marion.
Sections of Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee are also under a tornado watch until 3 a.m. ET.
The agency highlighted that flash flooding, frequent lightning, severe thunderstorms, heavy wind gusts and hail may be observed through Sunday morning. The front is expected to slowly move off the east coast of the US by Monday.
Winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories have been issued in a region spanning Colorado and New Mexico to eastern Michigan and Maine. The latter is estimated to get anywhere from two to eight inches of snow by Sunday morning.
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