Madison County and Berea schools have released students early, and the county’s emergency management agency is warning people to be prepared for possible severe weather.
The storms are expected to hit around 4 or 5 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. A cold front will hit the area from the west, which will bring more storms. Damaging winds and tornadoes are expected ahead of the front near the I-65 corridor during the early afternoon hours, according to the weather service.
The Madison County Emergency Management Agency issued a statement advising tralier residents of “safe stations” where they can wait out the storms. They are:
• Flatwoods Christian Church, 263 College Hill Road, Waco. 369-5454
• First Christian Church, 412 W. Main St., Richmond. 624-4383
• Church on the Rock, 1049 Richmond Road North, Berea. 986-1899
The safe stations are not designated as shelters, so no overnight accommodations or meals will be provided, according to the EMA.
Madison County Schools let students out at 1:30 p.m., Model at 1 p.m., and Berea Community Schools let elementary students out at 1 p.m. and middle and high school at 2 p.m.
The Regional Basketball Tournament girls’ games at EKU for tonight are rescheduled.
Tonight, the strong storms and winds will continues, especially early in the evening. The low is predicted to be 39 degrees and winds will be out of the west at 20 to 30 mph. The storms are expected to reach the bluegrass region and south-central Kentucky around 4 to 5 p.m., according to the weather service.
The National Weather Service also is predicting “long-tracked and very damaging tornadoes.”
“It cannot be stressed enough that there is a significant threat for severe and tornadic thunderstorms this afternoon and evening,” the special weather statement said. Information for Severe Weather Conditions Situation in Madison County, KY
The EMA offers the following storm tips:
Pick a safe room in your home where household members and pets may gather during a tornado. This should be a basement, storm cellar or an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows.
The safest place to be is an underground shelter, basement or safe room.
If no underground shelter or safe room is available, a small, windowless interior room or hallway on the lowest level of a sturdy building is the safest alternative.
• Mobile homes are not safe during tornadoes or other severe winds.
• Do not seek shelter in a hallway or bathroom of a mobile home.
• If you have access to a sturdy shelter, abandon your mobile home immediately.
• Go to the nearest sturdy building or shelter immediately, using your seat belt if driving.
• Do not wait until you see the tornado.
If in a vehicle or mobile home:
Get out immediately and go to a more substantial structure. If there is no shelter nearby, lie flat in a low-lying area with your hands and arms shielding your head. Remember with tornadoes usually comes a lot rain, so watch for flooding in these low-lying areas.