Tornadoes January 3, 2000 in Tennesse, Kentucky area NBC News
c The Associated Press
OWENSBORO, Ky. (Jan. 3) - A strong storm that spawned at least one tornado
ripped through this western Kentucky city on Monday, damaging hundreds of
homes and a college campus. At least 18 people were injured.
The springlike storm that struck on a balmy winter day also downed trees and
power lines and unleashed flash flooding in this city of about 54,000.
''We were sitting at home and the wind started picking up, and then it
started pouring down rain and things started to fly,'' said Marti Fenwick, a
mother of three whose home was damaged by the storm.
At least 18 people were treated at Owensboro Mercy Hospital, said supervisor
Janice Sweeney. Police and emergency medical services were going door to door
and more injuries were possible, she said.
The storm was part of a band of unstable weather that rolled across the
nation's midsection on Monday. Thunderstorms knocked out power in Arkansas
and tornadoes and thunderstorms moved through southeast Missouri.
Twisters also touched down in Mississippi, destroying homes and injuring
about a half-dozen people, including a couple whose manufactured home was
flipped off its foundation near New Albany. The couple were in stable
condition at a hospital.
Thunderstorms and a possible tornado damaged more than 20 homes in southern
Kentucky State Police in Henderson received reports of several tornadoes in
the Owensboro area, a dispatcher said. The National Weather Service confirmed
that one tornado touched down in Owensboro.
A state of emergency was declared in Owensboro, and a curfew was imposed
between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. Tuesday to keep people off the streets as emergency
crews assessed damage and began the cleanup.
The storm damaged 750 homes and 35 businesses and caused widespread power
outages, said Ray Bowman, a state emergency official.
In nearby Crittenden County, a state of emergency was declared with as many
as 100 homes damaged, and a tornado was reported in Webster County as the
storms skipped across western Kentucky and north-central Kentucky.
The storm caused extensive damage to Kentucky Wesleyan College and to some
businesses lining a main city thoroughfare. High winds tore off the roofs of
several buildings on the college campus, including the president's home.
''Every road leading on or off the campus is blocked by downed trees or power
lines, so there is no getting in or out,'' said college president Wesley H.
Classes don't start until next week, so few students were around.
> VICIOUS WINTER TORNADOES HIT THREE STATES
Tornadoes touched down in Kentucky, Mississippi and Arkansas on Monday,
damaging houses, a school and a nursing home. There were no immediate reports
of serious injuries. Damage was so severe in Owensboro, a Kentucky, town of
53,000 about 30 miles southeast of Evansville, Indiana, that officials declared
a state of emergency. Thunderstorms knocked out power and flooded streets in
Arkansas and a storm damaged more than 20 homes in southern Illinois.
Cars piled on top of each other