Heavy rains and possible tornadoes in Kentucky over the weekend proved deadly and destructive.
At least three people have been killed in Western Kentucky, Monica French, a spokeswoman for Kentucky Emergency Management, said late Sunday morning.
She said those deaths occurred in Logan, Simpson and Union counties.
Dallas Jane Combs, 79, died when her home was destroyed about 4 p.m. Saturday by what was thought to be a tornado in the Dot community, said Logan County Coroner Mary Givens. She said Combs’ husband also was at home at the time but escaped without serious injures.
Authorities said he had been putting plastic on the windows in their home when he was blown into the basement.
In Simpson County, the sheriff’s office says a man died after his car was submerged in water. That man’s name has not yet been released.
Another body submerged in a car was recovered on KY 359 in Union County. Authorities said the vehicle ran off the road into a flooded ditch. The victim’s name has not yet been released.
Garrard County Emergency Management Authority reported on its Facebook page that a possible tornado early Sunday morning damaged or destroyed several buildings on Gillespie Pike.
No injuries were reported but officials said a barn, garage and outbuilding were destroyed and one house was damaged. They said the National Weather Service would survey the area Monday to determine if the damage was cause by a tornado.
The National Weather Service confirmed Sunday three tornadoes hit Western Kentucky — one in Logan County, one in Christian County and another on the Warren-Barren county lines.
Strong winds damaged the Eagle Crossing apartment complex in Hopkinsville, displacing 170 residents, reported NewsChannel 5 in Nashville.
French said Emergency Management area managers were assessing damages Sunday in various parts of the state.
“The rains and storms were statewide but they appeared to do most harm in Western, Central and Northern Kentucky,” she said.
Widespread flooding was reported throughout the state in low-lying areas, she said, forcing many roads to close.
The storms caused significant damage in communities throughout Kentucky, said Michael Dossett, director of KYEM, in a statement.
“We remind our citizens across the Commonwealth as they begin assessment and clean-up, there are still flooding dangers even though the storm activity has passed. Be aware of your surroundings at all times, as flooding continues throughout many counties and rivers will continue to rise for several days.”
The National Weather Service said the only active flood warnings Sunday primarily were in Ohio communities from Ashland to Paducah.
Louisville had major problems with road closures due to flooding, according to the city’s and authorities’ Facebook pages.
I-64 was closed Saturday night from Story Avenue to Grinstead Drive in both directions. It was not completely open until about 10 a.m. Sunday. I-71 in Jefferson County remained open but access at Zorn Avenue is expected to be closed several days. It was closed Saturday night in Oldham County.
The National Weather Service in Louisville reported widespread flooding, especially in the Louisville area.
It warned that places that don’t typically flood may flood because heavy rains on already saturated soils will lead to excessive run, causing rivers and streams to rise.
More rain is possible by the middle of the week, which could cause further problems, it said.
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin declared a state of emergency on Friday because of flooding as a result of rains over the past few weeks and Attorney General Andy Beshear asked Kentuckians to report price gouging to his office.
Beshear said anyone with information regarding possible price gouging should contact the Office of the Attorney General at 888-432-9257 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Now that a state of emergency has been declared and price gouging laws are in full effect, we will be on the lookout for any instances of price gouging including, generators, building supplies, chainsaws, hotel rooms and other necessary goods and services at an exorbitant price in a time of disaster,” he said.
Beshear also reminded Kentuckians that con artists routinely prey on victims’ post-disaster stress by posing as someone who claims they can help.