At least 39 people were killed on Friday as a storm system moving through the Midwest spawned a number of lethal and fast moving tornadoes in southern Indiana and northern Kentucky.
Friday's outbreak of tornadoes was the deadliest in nearly 40 years and came less than 48 hours after the 'official' start of tornado season in the Midwest.
Robert Szappanos, a meteorologist with the weather service in Louisville, said the “super outbreak” resembled the historic 1974 tornadoes, when 63 people died in an area stretching from Southern Indiana to Southern Kentucky.To the east of Louisville, KY, the Fire Department for the small town of Milton, KY took a direct hit from a category EF2 tornado, demolishing the building and wrecking the fire engine inside.
The weather service will send out teams today to determine exactly how many tornadoes struck the region and their intensity, he said.
But the destruction they left in their wake will take much longer to gauge.
In the town of Chelsea in Jefferson County, Ind., first responders found a 4-year-old boy and his great-grandparents lying on the ground 50 feet from where the elderly couple’s home was blown off its foundation and thrown more than 100 feet.
The child’s young father could be seen crying as he bent over next to a firefighter.
All three died of multiple blunt-force injuries, according to David Bell, the county’s Emergency Management director.
A man who lived nearby on Jackson Road also was killed when the storm slammed into his home, Jefferson County Sheriff John Wallace said.
In New Pekin, IN a 15 month old girl was found alive in a field along with the bodies of her parents and two siblings. However, Angel Babcock passed away from complications stemming from her injuries on Monday after being rushed to Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville, KY.
The recovery and repair efforts throughout the region were complicated even further by a winter storm system that dumped anywhere from 3-5 inches of snow throughout the region overnight on Sunday.