The death toll in Kentucky from Friday’s tornado outbreak is now at least twelve. Fatalities have been recorded in Menifee, Kenton, Laurel and Morgan counties and more than two hundred people have been injured statewide.
Governor Steve Beshear has declared a statewide state of emergency, clearing the way for local officials to seek state disaster and other assistance.
The governor has also authorized the deployment of some 275 National Guard troops to the hardest hit areas.
The severe weather that struck Kentucky spawned at least 13 tornadoes.
Beshear will tour the tornado-ravaged areas this morning.
Here’s the latest release from the governor’s office:
FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 2, 2012) – Governor Steve Beshear has authorized a total of 275 National Guard Troops to assist Johnson, Laurel, Magoffin, Menifee and Morgan counties with storm-related damages.
The Kentucky Department of Public Health has confirmed a total of 12 fatalities reported to the agency by local coroners. Four fatalities have been reported in Menifee County, four in Laurel County, three in Kenton County, and one in Morgan County. More than 200 injuries have been reported.
Saturday morning, Gov. Beshear will tour several counties hit by the severe weather throughout Friday. He will tour Morgan, Menifee and Kenton counties with Gen. Ed Tonini, Sen. Damon Thayer, of Georgetown, and Sen. Robert Stivers, of Manchester.
Gov. Beshear declared a statewide emergency earlier today to allow local officials immediate access to state resources to assist in public safety and recovery efforts. Several local communities have declared states of emergency: Bath, Campbell, Johnson, Kenton, Laurel, Rowan, and Trimble counties and 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 will continue through the night. Severe storms began rolling across the Commonwealth this afternoon beginning in the far western part of the state and moved north and east of the Ohio river from Indiana.
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