KY Gov. Beshear declares state of emergency ahead of severe weather

Ky State of Emergency March 31, 2023
Ky. State of Emergency March 31, 2023

(KBSI) – Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency ahead of severe weather that is expected to begin Friday evening in western Kentucky, especially the Jackson Purchase area, and has a high probability of producing long-track, violent tornadoes.

Gov. Beshear noted this is the same area devastated by the December 2021 tornadoes. According to the National Weather Service, there is a high probability of severe tornadoes moving through this area once again up to I-65.

The rest of Kentucky, with the exception of the east, should expect violent thunderstorms followed by significant winds with wind gusts up to 55 miles per hour.

“If you are in Western Kentucky, you need to be in a safe shelter by 5 p.m. Central Time,” said Gov. Beshear. “This is the worst forecast I’ve seen as Governor. I am declaring a state of emergency so that we can be prepared. We are taking this very seriously and we need you to take this seriously, too. Please be prepared. Let’s do everything possible to keep everyone safe.”

The governor closed all Kentucky state office buildings located in the central time zone on Friday, March 31 beginning at 3 p.m. This closure extends to employees who may live or work within the central time zone. Executive Branch employees should follow guidance from their agency, according to the Office of Gov. Beshear.

Gov. Beshear also activated the state’s price gouging laws to protect families from grossly overpriced goods and services. With the state of emergency in place, consumers in the commonwealth can report price gouging to the Office of the Attorney General. Under state law, price gougers can be held accountable.

Kentuckians are asked to avoid calling 911 for traffic and weather updates.

The Kentucky State Police requests that if you see or suspect that someone is stranded on the roadways, contact KSP at 800-222-5555.

Gov. Beshear urges all Kentuckians to have a safety plan to locate in a secure place during the storms.

“Practice going there before the weather arrives. A storm shelter or a basement is the best. An interior hallway away from windows is the second best. If you are in a mobile home, get out. Be somewhere safe long before this hits. Go to a neighbor’s house, an underground shelter or a nearby permanent structure,” Gov. Beshear said. “Monitor the weather on, by watching local TV or listening to NOAA weather radio. Contact your local emergency management office if you need to find a safe place to shelter.”

Visit for more preparedness tips.

Kentucky Transportation Secretary Jim Gray signed an official order to temporarily suspend certain regulatory restrictions on commercial motor vehicles involved in restoring power and clearing debris in Kentucky and other states impacted by violent storms and destructive winds on Friday.

His order complements a state of emergency declared by Gov. Beshear.

“This order is to help avoid any delay for utility crews and other responders coming to the aid of storm victims,” Secretary Gray said.

The order is effective through 11:01 a.m. Central Time on April 30. It temporarily relieves commercial drivers from maximum driving times and weigh station stops while engaged in the emergency response.

Carriers must comply with safety requirements and have a copy of the order in the truck cab if operating under the authority of the official order. Tap here to view a copy of the order.

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