Winds, thunderstorms wallop Ky., the Midwest Kentucky, the Midwest

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — An official says severe weather in central Kentucky has killed one person.

A line of severe thunderstorms moved through Madison County on Friday evening. State Emergency Management Agency spokesman Buddy Rogers says the death was related to the storms but he doesn’t have any other details.

High winds destroyed several homes and damaged others in the Kirksville community. The Kentucky National Guard has been called in to help with the aftermath and the county has declared a state of emergency.

Elsewhere, thunderstorms packing winds gusting to 120 mph pounded parts of the Midwest on Friday, leaving four people dead, collapsing a church and knocking out power to thousands, authorities said.

Two people were killed near Poplar Bluff, Mo., when wind knocked a tree onto their car. In Dallas County, a man in his 70s had a fatal heart attack after he and his wife were sucked from their home and thrown into a field 75 to 100 feet away, said county emergency management director Larry Highfill.

The wife was taken to a Springfield hospital. Her condition wasn’t immediately known.

A mobile home was blown off its foundation in southeast Kansas, killing a 54-year-old woman inside. Wilson County emergency management spokeswoman Cassandra Edson said it appeared the mobile home was “wrapped around a tree.”

Wind in the area reached 120 mph, destroying the New Albany United Methodist Church, the town’s post office and at least one home, authorities said. Major damage also was reported to a high school in Cherokee, Kan.

Airplanes were flipped over by winds at the El Dorado, Kan., airport, the Wichita Eagle reported on its Web site. In Towanda, a stone silo bearing the city’s name was reduced to rubble.

National Weather Service offices in Springfield, Mo., and St. Louis received multiple reports of tornadoes from one end of Missouri to the other, mostly south of Interstate 44. The weather service sent out teams to determine if tornadoes had touched down.

Many counties reported wind of 80 mph and higher. Several people were hurt, mostly when wind damaged their homes or businesses, but a few from flash floods.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency.

“My primary concern is the safety of Missourians and this executive order makes state agency resources available to help communities respond to the storms,” Nixon said.

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