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UPDATED: WKU death was relative, not student

Kate Howard

Western Kentucky University says it is “not aware” of any student fatalities from last night’s storm after originally reporting one student death.

A tweet from the university mid-morning clarified an earlier press release where President Timothy Caboni had said a WKU student was among those who have died in the deadly string of storms that ripped through Kentucky late Friday night and early Saturday morning.

The school now believes that it was a close relative of a student that died.

“Our Housing and Residence Life teams have verified that there are no injuries or fatalities among our residential students,” Caboni said in an email Saturday to faculty and staff.

WKU says information is still arriving but as of 11 a.m. they had no knowledge of fatalities in the student body.

In an early morning briefing Saturday, Gov. Andy Beshear said the death toll would likely be closer to 70 to 100. Beshear declared a state of emergency, and mobilized Kentucky National Guard members to help with rescue and cleanup operations.

The Bowling Green Police Department says it’s working “numerous reports of building collapses, gas leaks, and extrications in the city due to the tornado and severe weather.” All city shelters and parks and South Warren High School are open for those needing shelter.

There are scenes of destruction across Warren County Saturday, with businesses and homes destroyed, and cars turned over.

An online map that tracks power outages showed more than 67,000 Kentucky customers—mostly in the western and southern parts of the state—without power around 9 a.m. eastern.

Kevin is the News Director at WKU Public Radio. He has been with the station since 1999, and was previously the Assistant News Director, and also served as local host of Morning Edition. He is a broadcast journalism graduate of WKU, and has won numerous awards for his reporting and feature production. Kevin grew up in Radcliff, Kentucky and currently lives in Glasgow.
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