West Kentucky hit hard with tornadoes; roof blown off church

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PADUCAH, Ky. (KT) – A tornado that swept through Paducah on Thursday morning took the roof completely off Mt. Zion Baptist Church.


Multiple tornadoes touched down in western Kentucky and caused considerable damage, according to multiple media outlets. A state of emergency was declared for a five-square mile area where most of the damage was done.


The weather service office sent out a tweet that said “9:31 A.M. (Central time) TORNADO JUST MISSED OUR OFFICE IN WEST PADUCAH. TAKE SHELTER NOW IF YOU’RE IN PADUCAH!!!!”


A tornado was spotted by the weather service in McCracken County area moving northeast at 55 miles per hour. Several businesses and homes were badly damaged and more than 8,000 were reportedly without power, the West Kentucky Star reported.


The tornado reached 75 miles per hour as it moved near Sturgis, the weather service said.


The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is asking drivers to avoid traveling in western McCracken County and southeastern Ballard County for the rest of Thursday.


Crews are working to clear utility lines, downed trees, and other debris left behind by the storm.


Video of the Kentucky tornado was posted on social media. Jared Borum filmed the forming twister as it moved across a field of trees in Paducah. Borum and a room full of others watched the funnel grow and whip across the field.


"It's amazing. See the debris? You can see it hitting the trees," Borum said on his recording.


State police said at least one injury has been reported in McCracken County from the storm. Emergency crews were going door-to-door in the area to check on residents.


Severe weater also did damage in Louisville, leaving thousands without power. Strong winds toppled tree limbs near power lines and nearly 18,000 customers remained without power in Jefferson County early Thursday evening.


St. Paul Baptist Church at Shively Heights also reportedly had part of its roof damaged by the unusually strong winds..

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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