‘I don’t want to lose anybody else.’ Gov. Andy Beshear updates Kentuckians on inclement weather


Governor Andy Beshear gave a brief addressing the severity of imminent storms in a live briefing on Friday, March 3, 2023.

Alexis Baker, Staff Reporter

Gov. Andy Beshear addressed the severity of imminent storms in a live briefing, streamed on multiple social media sites, for the commonwealth this morning. 

Beshear said that an hour before his briefing he signed a state of emergency that would allow for the National Guard to be placed around the state, if needed.

“We already have 400-plus National Guard assembled for training,” Beshear said. “They have been advised that we may well need them in the response to this storm.”

Beshear said Kentucky’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has upgraded to level two since this morning. The upgrade is a response to what is to be expected from the storms.

Beshear said that this is the highest level of EOC operations before it is federally supported.

“We have already lost way too many people due to flooding, tornadoes and other weather events, so we want everybody to be safe today,” Beshear said. 

In reference to the National Weather Service’s “Key Messages,” Beshear said the weather system will be present between noon and 5 p.m. The main severe threats are damaging winds and isolated tornadoes. 

Beshear added that the National Weather Service has high confidence in wind gusts of 55-65+ mph. 

“The storm is moving so fast … if there is a warning, you are not going to have a lot of time,” Beshear said. 

Beshear also said he activated the Price Gauging statute so that if an event takes place, people can’t get taken advantage of. According to the executive order, in order to protect Kentucky consumers, goods and services can’t be charged at an excess price under the Price Gauging statute. 

While not classified as a main severe threat, Beshear said that there will be heavy rainfall and possible flash flooding as a result of these storms.

These weather threats are not a first for Kentucky. 

According to the National Weather Service, there was a violent tornado outbreak from Dec. 10-11, 2021, that caused significant destruction to Western Kentucky.  

“We’re preparing for it, but certainly we don’t expect anything on the level of a Western Kentucky, which was an E-4,” Beshear said. “We don’t expect anything on par with those, but I don’t want to lose anybody else.”

Beshear said that there has been communication with previous storm survivors, and that there are shelters set up for them.

“Especially knowing the trauma that all of these folks have been through, we wanted to make sure that in counties that have been impacted especially by tornadoes and flooding that we had a shelter that people could preemptively go to if they so chose,” Beshear said.