Harsh Winds Smack Kentucky; Trees, Power Lines Down

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Harsh winds are causing damage across western Kentucky, and thousands in Louisville are without power. The system also is buffeting the central part of the state, downing trees and power lines causing some outages.

State officials say numerous counties primarily in Western Kentucky have declared states of emergency. The winds are being caused by remnants of Hurricane Ike.

Gusts of hurricane force have been reported in Louisville at the airport. There are widespread reports of numerous downed trees and power lines, blown transformers. Fallen trees and power lines have closed numerous roads, damaged cars and some houses and have closed parts of several state roadways.

Central Kentucky is experiencing winds of up to 45 to 50 miles per hour with resulting widespread spotty damages.

Kentucky's Division of Emergency Management says numerous small fires have been reported as a result of downed power lines. County and state crews are working on clearing up the damage.

The National Weather Service has issued wind advisories for much of the state.

An LG&E spokesman in Louisville said just before noon that about 22,000 customers were without electric service.

Emergency Management says Ballard, Caldwell, Carlisle, Fulton, Hickman, Lyon and Union counties have declared a state of emergency.

The weather system is moving north to northeasterward, and is expected to move across the state throughout the evening, increasing in intensity in central Kentucky through the night.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-09-14-08 1432EDT

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