Deadly storms push across Kentucky

Feb. 29, 2012 at 3:57 PM
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HARRISBURG, Ill., Feb. 29 (UPI) -- A storm system that left at least 10 people dead in the Midwest brought tornado warnings to Kentucky Wednesday afternoon, the National Weather Service said.

Heavy rains and funnel clouds were making their way east into West Virginia after knocking out power and triggering at least one twister that damaged homes and caused several minor injuries in Hodgeville, Ky., The (Louisville) Courier-Journal said.

A swath of the Midwest from Memphis north to Lake Erie was under a tornado watch and a flash-flood warning was in effect in Charleston, W.Va., the NWS said.

The robust storms pummeled Missouri and southern Illinois overnight, causing 10 deaths and some 100 injuries.

"I see crushed houses all over the place," a hospital executive in Harrisburg, Ill., told the St. Louis (Mo.) Post-Dispatch.

The Saline County Sheriff's Department told the newspaper an estimated 325 homes and businesses in Harrisburg had been damaged or destroyed. Debris was scattered over a wide area and several natural gas lines were reported broken.

In the popular resort community of Branson, Mo., firefighters reported several buildings collapsed or sustained major structural damage because of a tornado, including a hotel, restaurant and gas station, AccuWeather.com reported.

In Kansas, Gov. Sam Brownback declared a state of emergency for the community of Harveyville, where officials said an "apparent tornado" injured nine people Tuesday, CNN reported.

In northern Minnesota, heavy snows accompanied by high winds pushed over trees and yanked down power lines. Nearly 9 inches of snow was reported in Duluth before 1 p.m., the Duluth News-Tribune reported, with parts of northwest Wisconsin reporting 17 to 20 inches.

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