Saturday, October 28, 2023

9 killed in severe storms in southern US


A deadly storm system has wreaked havoc across the southern United States, causing tornadoes and heavy rains that have claimed the lives of at least nine people and left over one million customers without power. The National Weather Service has reported that the storm has largely passed through the southern states, and is now moving towards the northeastern US, where it is expected to bring heavy snow and sleet from southeastern Michigan to New York state. Some parts of central New York and southern New England may see over 30cm of snow by Saturday afternoon.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear has confirmed that two tornadoes caused by the storm system hit the western part of his state on Friday. He also revealed that at least three people were killed in the severe weather, although he did not provide any further details. A fourth person was killed by the storm in Kentucky when a tree fell on the car she was in, according to the Fayette County coroner’s office. Beshear warned that thunderstorms in Kentucky were generating winds of up to 129km per hour, which are “strong enough to blow tractor-trailers off the road”.

Beshear had declared a state of emergency before the storm, and on Friday evening, the mayor of Louisville, Craig Greenberg, followed suit due to the severe storms, high winds, widespread damage, and danger to lives and property. In a Facebook post, Greenberg urged everyone in the community to exercise extreme caution and avoid driving through standing water or approaching downed power lines.

The National Weather Service in Louisville described the storm on Friday as “powerful and historic,” with peak wind gusts between 96-128km per hour. Alabama Governor Kay Ivey said on social media that three people were killed in the storm in her state, but provided no further details. In Arkansas, a man died after being swept into a swollen river by floodwaters after driving on a flooded street, according to the Scott County Sheriff’s Department. In Mississippi, Governor Tate Reeves said on social media on Friday that overnight storms producing high winds had resulted in one person’s death, but he gave no further details.

According to data from, more than 1.4 million homes and businesses were left without power in states affected by the storm. Meteorologists have explained that violent storms are common in the southern US during winter months, as warm, moist air rises from the Gulf of Mexico and collides with colder air moving down from the north.

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