Church, pre-school hit by tornado in Paducah


PADUCAH, Ky. (WTVQ)- Emergency Management and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet are asking drivers to avoid traveling in McCracken and Ballard counties for the remainder of the day due to a tornado.

KYTC is working with utility crews, area fire departments, and rescue squads to clear utility lines, downed trees and other debris from an apparent tornado.

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Crews report pieces of grain bins, barns, homes and other debris blocking the roadway.  Some of the debris cannot be cleared until utility crews arrive to cut power to the area where work is required.

Approximately five square miles of Western McCracken County were affected by the tornado, including Mt. Zion Pre-school Center at 9701 Blandville Road. There were forty students at the pre-school at the time of the incident, and although the building received damage, no children or instructors were injured.

State Police say there is only one confirmed non-life-threatening injury due to the tornado. First responders are checking all residences in the area to ensure everyone’s safety.

The American Red Cross is prepared to establish shelter to provide assistance to displaced families that may have been affected. They are currently operating an evacuation center at Broadway United Methodist Church for residents effected by the storm.  This center will be to assist with immediate needs and to provide information.

KSP says several roads are shut down due to debris and down power lines. Those roads are HWY 62 east of McKendree Church Road, and HWY 286 east of McKendree Church Road.

All traffic into those areas are being diverted across McKendree Church Road to US HWY 60. Traffic traveling on Blandville Road, westbound, is being diverted to Fisher Road and then to US HWY 60.

If you have any damage to report you can contact Emergency Management at 270-448-1530. We are requesting the public to stay clear of any downed power lines. Numerous linemen are on scene to restore power to the area. At this time there is no estimated time for power to be restored. The McCracken County Judge Executive’s Office has declared a State of Emergency for the county.

The public is asked to avoid these areas to allow emergency responders to work in the area.

Anyone seeking to travel between Paducah and Ballard County or Paducah and Carlisle County should avoid US 62 and KY 286.

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