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One dead from severe Kentucky storms, Gov. Andy Beshear confirms

In World
April 03, 2024

One person is dead after severe weather rolled through Kentucky early Tuesday and into the evening, Gov. Andy Beshear said at a Wednesday press conference.

Beshear said the victim, who was a young man, died in a car wreck in Campbell County “when the first line of strong storms” came through.

“The toughest news out of the storm (is) we’ve confirmed one weather-related fatality. This came in Campbell County in a car accident, when this first line of strong storms and rain were coming through,” Beshear said.

The storms caused significant property damage across various regions of the state, particularly Central Kentucky, the greater Louisville area and parts of Eastern Kentucky. As of Wednesday at 1:30 p.m., more than 13,000 Kentuckians were still without power.

The National Weather Service had confirmed Wednesday at least six tornadoes touched down during the storms.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear at a press briefing Wednesday, April 3, 2024.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear at a press briefing Wednesday, April 3, 2024.

Later Wednesday, Beshear said he would be visiting Jefferson and Oldham counties as well as Central Kentucky. Lieutenant Governor Jacqueline Coleman will be traveling east to Boyd County, where damage was also prevalent.

Beshear took a beat to mention a relevant piece of recently-enacted legislation setting a cap on how much the administration can spend on disaster response without calling the legislature in for a special session.

“I hope that we can get that fixed so we always have the resources to help our neighbors when they’ve been knocked down,” Beshear said.

In the newly passed budget — the budget bills were all passed last week before the veto break and are subject to line-item veto from the Democratic governor, though the GOP-led legislature has the time and votes to override him — the Kentucky National Guard can only spend up to $25 million during a governor-declared emergency.

When asked if he plans to line-item veto that part of the state budget, Beshear responded, “oh yes.”

“We cannot have limitations, especially small limitations that we already know we exceed in a year without a massive natural disaster, that limit our ability to respond and help our people. We’ve made this plea to leadership on both sides. I admittedly don’t understand why it’s still in there when these are our Kentucky neighbors. We have $4 billion in a rainy day fund and we’ve had a lot of rainy days.

“If they don’t want to move the limitation entirely, at least make it bigger.”

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Two large trees caused heavy residential damage following a severe thunderstorm in Lexington, Ky., on April 2, 2024.

Two large trees caused heavy residential damage following a severe thunderstorm in Lexington, Ky., on April 2, 2024.

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