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KY faces new damage

Just as 66 Kentucky counties received a federal declaration this weekend for previous storm damage, parts of the state got hammered again.

BY SUSAN KIM | HARDINSBURG, Ken. | June 14, 2004

Just as 66 Kentucky counties received a federal declaration this weekend for previous storm damage, parts of the state got hammered again.

Breckinridge County - one of the declared counties - sustained new blows Saturday when a tornado hit the 1,500-person town of Hardinsburg. The F0 twister destroyed two mobile homes, ripped roofs from numerous houses, and damaged an apartment building that was still uninhabitable as of Monday morning.

The American Red Cross was responding to emergency needs, offering more than a dozen people food and shelter.

Local churches in Hardinsburg reported they were coordinating volunteers and checking on people with special needs.

Carol Carman, a volunteer at the Hardinsburg Baptist Church, said many townspeople were unduly frightened when initial media reports said the town had been wiped out. "We ended up really feeling blessed," she said. "But we were scared to death."

The twister also tore the porch off Hardinsburg Church of Christ and damaged at least two other buildings near downtown.

The tornado - which hit Saturday around lunchtime - formed so quickly that it had passed by the time the town's sirens were activated.

A few minor injuries were reported on Saturday, according to Breckinridge County emergency management director Rick Priest.

More flash flooding also struck, some of it in areas of eastern Kentucky previously inundated with floodwater.

Flood damage was reported in Pike County, and in the community of South Lick, in Fleming County, but the extent of residential damage was still unclear Monday morning.

This weekend's presidential declaration for Kentucky was a result of storms, tornadoes, flooding and mudslides that began May 26 and continued for days. Five deaths were blamed on that severe weather, which destroyed hundreds of homes and caused some $25 million in damage.

Eastern Kentucky bore the brunt of the May flood damage, and some 450 homes were destroyed in Martin County alone. The same storm system spawned tornadoes that destroyed homes across western and central Kentucky. Fayette County lost 37 homes, while 25 more were destroyed in Henry County.

Faith-based groups - including Kentucky Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, Kentucky Interchurch Disaster Recovery, Church World Service, United Church of Christ, and United Methodist Committee on Relief - were monitoring new damage even while helping formulate a long-term plan for areas struck in May.

The 66 federally declared counties are Bell, Bourbon, Boyle, Breathitt, Breckinridge, Bullitt, Butler, Caldwell, Carroll, Casey, Christian, Clark, Clay, Crittenden, Edmonson, Elliott, Estill, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Garrard, Grayson, Hardin, Harlan, Hart, Henderson, Henry, Hopkins, Jefferson, Jessamine, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Lincoln, Madison, Magoffin, Martin, McLean, Menifee, Montgomery, Morgan, Muhlenberg, Ohio, Oldham, Owen, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Powell, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Rowan, Scott, Shelby, Spencer, Trimble, Union, Webster, Whitely, Wolfe and Woodford.

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