More Than 30 Storm-Related Deaths Reported In U.S. Midwest

Saturday, March 3rd 2012, 9:59 am
By: News 9

Deadly storms packing high-powered tornadoes plowed through the Midwest. More than 30 storm-related deaths have been reported as of Saturday morning.

 3/2/2012 Related Story: Deadly Tornadoes Strike Midwest, Devastate Indiana

Total storm-related fatalities in Kentucky rose to 19, and 38 in three states.

A public affairs officer with the Kentucky State Police says three people have died and at least 75 people have been injured by storms in the northeastern Kentucky city of West Liberty.

Endre Samu with the Morehead post says of West Liberty: "All of the downtown area was just devastated."

Samu said West Liberty's hospital also was damaged and that some patients there are being transferred.

Authorities say they found Lizzie Pittman's body Saturday morning in East Bernstadt, Kentucky, south of Lexington. Her husband Wilburn Pittman also was killed.

Fourteen people have also been reported killed in Indiana, and three in Ohio.

Ohio Governor John Kasich has declared a state of emergency in the wake of severe storms that killed 3 people, including a town council member, and leveled dozens of homes in the state.

Officials in Alabama have reported the state's first death from the tornado outbreak that's killed more than 30 people around the country.

Alabama Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Yasamie August says one person died Friday and two people were injured by an apparent tornado that hit the Jackson Gap community in Tallapoosa County.

No further details were immediately available.

The tornados destroyed houses and damaged a state prison in Alabama on Friday before wreaking further havoc in states to the north.

The majority of deaths were reported in wrecked communities in Indiana and Kentucky.

Police say a baby girl found alone in an Indiana field after Friday's massive, tornado-spawning storms has been identified and remains in critical condition at a Kentucky hospital.

Kosair Children's Hospital spokesman Brian Rublein said Saturday that family members are at the hospital with her. He did not identify the girl is or say which family members are with her.

A spokeswoman for the hospital in Salem, Indiana, where the girl was first taken, said Saturday that authorities were still trying to figure out how she ended up in the field alone. St. Vincent Salem Hospital spokeswoman Melissa Richardson says the child's family is from New Pekin, Indiana, and the girl was found in a field near her home.

Authorities say violent storms in Georgia killed an 83-year-old woman whose body was washed into a creek after she tried to take shelter in a drainage pipe.

Alpharetta police spokesman George Gordon says the body of Patricia Barnette was found Saturday in a creek more than 100 yards from her home north of Atlanta. He says the woman's husband reported her missing Friday night as tornado-spawning storms pounded northern Georgia.

Barnette's death is the first storm-related death reported in Georgia.