At least 9 dead after severe storms lashed south, downing trees

Nine people have died in five southern states after a series of storms with damaging winds battered the region Thursday and Friday, officials said.

Three people died Friday in Kentucky, one in Tennessee, three in Alabama and one person was found dead in Arkansas, officials said. One person in Mississippi died in severe weather on Thursday.

More than 750,000 homes and businesses in the states of Tennessee and Kentucky were without power as of Friday night, according to outage tracking website

“We’ve already lost far too many people to flooding, tornadoes and other weather events, so we want everyone to be safe today,” Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said at a news conference Friday morning.

He signed a state of emergency to provide assistance where it is needed, including notifying 400 National Guard members.

The Kentucky deaths occurred in Simpson, Edmonson and Logan counties, Beshear said.

In Humphreys County, Tennessee, a man was found dead Friday in a car with a tree on it, the sheriff’s office said.

The top of the tree fell about 50 feet and landed on the front of the vehicle. There were straight-line winds of 50 to 60 miles per hour at the time, the bureau said.

A fallen tree near a damaged home in Pike County, Ark., on Friday.CARK

The three deaths in Alabama were from falling trees or falling branches Friday in Talladega, Lexington and Huntsville, officials said.

One person was killed Thursday when a tree fell on a vehicle in Yazoo County, Mississippi, according to the agency known as MEMA.

In Scott County, Arkansas, a man was found dead near a truck submerged in flood water Friday morning, the sheriff’s office said.

More than 14 million people in eastern Tennessee, most of Kentucky and parts of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio were under strong wind warnings as of Friday night, according to the National Weather Service. Wind warnings covered other areas, from Georgia to Pennsylvania.

Some locations in Tennessee saw winds on par with a tropical storm on Friday, the Nashville Weather Service said. Clarksville saw sustained winds of 40 mph and Springfield had 54 mph. (A tropical storm begins at a sustained speed of 39 mph.)

Nashville Electric Service said 115,000 homes and businesses were without power as of Friday night due to morning storms. Around 48 high-voltage lines were down, 18 power poles were broken.

A Tennessee Highway Patrol sergeant was investigating an accident Friday when trees fell on his car, briefly pinning him. said the patrol. The officer was not injured.

A tornado was reported in McCracken County in western Kentucky. There was damage, but the sheriff’s department said deputies went door to door and found no injuries.

The Lexington, Kentucky, fire department said nearly every truck was on the road Friday night, including due to downed power lines and people trapped in elevators.

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