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Kentucky, Alabama Towns Dealing with Tornado Damage, Florida Feeling Record Heat

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The latest community left with shattered homes and no power was the tiny Kentucky town of Charleston, which took a direct hit Sunday night from a tornado that the governor said appeared to be on the ground for 40 miles (64 kilometers).

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“It’s a big mess,” said Rob Linton, who lives in Charleston and is the fire chief of nearby Dawson Springs, hit by a tornado in 2021. “Trees down everywhere. Houses moved. Power lines are down. No utilities whatsoever – no water, no power.”

Further east, some rural areas of Hopkins County hit by the 2021 tornado around the community of Barnsley were damaged again Sunday night, said county Emergency Management Director Nick Bailey.

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“There were a lot of people that were just getting their lives put back together and then this,” Bailey said. “Almost the same spot, the same houses and everything.”

Beshear has traveled to the area where his father grew up for ceremonies where people who lost everything were given the keys to their new homes. The visits came after a series of tornadoes on a terrifying night in December 2021 killed 81 people in Kentucky.

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“It could have been much worse,” Beshear said of the latest storms. “The people of Kentucky are very weather aware with everything we’ve been through.”

More than 400,000 customers across the eastern U.S. were without power Monday afternoon, including about 125,000 in Kentucky. Twelve states reported at least 10,000 outages earlier in the day, according to PowerOutage.us.

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In Alabama, an EF-1 tornado was confirmed in Cherokee County in the northeastern part of the state. At least one tree fell onto a house, causing damage, but no one was injured, WBRC TV news reported. A Mountain Brook woman, age 79, was killed when a tree fell on her apartment Monday morning.

Harold Brooks, a senior scientist at the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, said a persistent pattern of warm, moist air is to blame for the string of tornadoes over the past two months.

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That warm moist air is at the northern edge of a heat dome bringing temperatures typically seen at the height of summer to late May.

The heat index — a combination of air temperature and humidity to indicate how the heat feels to the human body — neared triple digits in parts of south Texas on Monday. Extreme heat was also forecast for San Antonio and Dallas.

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In Florida, Melbourne and Ft. Pierce set new daily record highs Monday. Both hit 98 F (36.7 C). Miami set a record high of 96 F (35.5 C) on Sunday.

Copyright 2024 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Topics
Florida
Catastrophe
Natural Disasters
Windstorm
Alabama
Kentucky

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