Beshear declares state of emergency in Kentucky

Apr. 2—FRANKFORT — Gov. Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency after severe storms swept through the commonwealth starting today, and more storms are continuing into the evening today.

The storms have produced heavy rain, hail, lightning, possible tornadoes and intense damaging winds across much of the commonwealth. There have been reports of damage to property, and thousands of Kentuckians are without power.

"We have reports of substantial damage to a number of structures — and thankfully, as of right now we are not aware of any fatalities," Gov. Beshear said. "We need all Kentuckians to stay weather aware as we brace for more severe weather throughout the afternoon and evening."

Because of pending weather conditions, the Governor closed all Executive Branch state office buildings beginning at 1 p.m. today. The Kentucky Emergency Operations Center in Frankfort has been activated, with essential partners providing support as needed.

The Governor also activated the state's price gouging laws to protect Kentuckians from overpriced goods and services as they clean up and recover from the storms. With the state of emergency in place, consumers in the commonwealth can report price gouging to the Office of the Attorney General.

Emergency managers and other emergency personnel, including Kentucky State Police and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, have been deployed to affected areas to assist.

Gov. Beshear added, "We are thankful for all the first responders and transportation employees who are out there helping to clear roadways and keep Kentuckians safe."

Drivers should be aware that some roads are blocked due to downed trees and power lines and are urged to check traffic conditions before traveling at

Boyd County Judge-Executive declared a state of emergency in Boyd County today.

The National Weather Service has received reports of several touch downs by a tornado in Ironton, where the popular bar The Laidback is in tatters.

Phone service from AT&T was out as of late morning, as were internet services; the Ashland Area YMCA was without power and asking parents to pick up their children.

Trees and power lines have been reported down throughout the area and another storm is expected to hit the region around 4 p.m. or later. John Peck, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Charleston, West Virginia, said tonight's storm might take a more southern route, making it less damaging to the area. He said he recommends keeping a prep kit handy. Prep kits should include a gallon of water per person for three days; three-day supply of nonperishable food and first aid kit.