FRANKFORT Ky. (FOX 56) – Gov. Beshear has declared a state of emergency today as a powerful storm system continues to move through Kentucky.

Saturday’s severe weather system generated heavy rain, thunderstorms, tornadoes, hail, and powerful straight-line winds across much of western, eastern, and south-central Kentucky.

As of noon Saturday flash flooding in Green, Barren, Taylor, Adair, Owsley, Breathitt, and Casey counties has closed down numerous roads and water rescues. A brief tornado touchdown was reported in Hopkinsville, causing damage to downtown businesses.

“It is devastating that we are once again experiencing severe weather just weeks after the deadly tornadoes hit Western Kentucky. Sadly, some counties have been affected by both of these events,” Beshear said. “We will continue to monitor the weather and provide needed updates. Everyone be aware, stay safe, and seek shelter when advised.”

In response to Beshear’s emergency declaration, Kentucky Emergency Management has activated the State Emergency Operations Center.

“Unfortunately, we continue to experience severe weather in the commonwealth as we move into the new year, with impacts across our south-central counties experiencing heavy rainfall, flash flooding, tornado strikes, and continuous squall lines,” said Michael Dossett, director of Kentucky Emergency Management. “Please give way to emergency responders operating in numerous counties and stay off of transportation routes today if at all possible.”

Steps to keep yourself safe after flooding:

  • Watch your step. Floodwaters often hide sharp and dangerous debris, like broken glass and metal.
  • Wear the appropriate protective clothing and gear such as boots, gloves and safety glasses when it comes to moving debris.
  • Stay away from electrical utility equipment after a storm, or if it is wet, to prevent being electrocuted. Report any utility issues to your local utility company.
  • Flooded homes are hazards. Get a professional to check for loose wires, mold and hidden damage before re-entering.
  • Avoid walking in floodwater. It can be contaminated with oil, gasoline or sewage.
  • Use generators or other gas-powered machinery only outdoors and away from windows.

Visit the KYEM site for more information