Searchers on Friday found the body of a woman whose car was swept away by floodwaters in Kentucky earlier in the day, after powerful thunderstorms rolled through the South and Midwest.
The car and the body were found at around 7 p.m. after the rain-swollen Sinking Creek near Beattyville subsided, authorities said. State police believe she tried to drive through moving water on Kentucky Route 52 just before 10 a.m. when her car was swept into the creek and disappeared.
Police initially said a child was also in the car, but investigators now believe she was alone.Earlier Friday, a tree fell on a tent at a campground about 30 miles away, killing Catherine Carlson, 45, NBC station WLEX reported.
And fire crews Friday night finally contained a massive, six-alarm fire at a Louisville manufacturing facility that was burning since the morning and may have been sparked by lightning. Tornado watches remained in parts of Central Kentucky Friday night.
The devastation in Kentucky came as a dangerous storm swept through, causing flash floods. As many as 12 tornadoes were reported in parts of Colorado, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, but there were no immediate reports of major damage, according to Weather.com.
Five tornadoes were confirmed in Missouri Thursday night and Friday, including an EF-2 that struck near Pomona in the southern part of the state, the National Weather Service said.
Kentucky was soaked by up to 5 inches of rain, leading to flash flood warnings in Louisville, where cars were inundated as roads turned into rivers and officials conducted more than 100 water rescues, according to Weather.com.
“The main hazard from the flooding is to drivers, especially in the dark,” Weather Channel meteorologist Michael Palmer said. “There is the potential for people to drive into flooded areas, getting stuck and then being swept away.”
“Please don’t drive into the standing water or try to go around barricades,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said at a briefing about the extreme weather.
Most of Kentucky was still under flood warnings and watches Friday night, according to the National Weather Service.
Many Missouri residents spent the night in shelters as tornado warnings continued until as late as 4:30 a.m. ET.
At a shelter in Missouri, people recalled the deadly 2011 Joplin tornado and were sleepy and nervous as alarms sounded through the night.
More severe weather is on the way next week, Palmer said, as a storm moves across the nation bringing rain to California and eventually more storms to the Plains and Midwest.
Additional reporting by Janet Shamlian and Andrew Rudansky.