27 People killed by tornadoes in Five U.S. Midwest States

Dozens of tornadoes cut a path across five states in the U.S. Midwest and South yesterday, smashing houses and damaging schools. At least 27 people were killed, the Associated Press reported.

The storms, the second swarm this week, hit hardest in southern Indiana, northern Kentucky and northern Alabama. Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear declared a statewide emergency, allowing municipalities to access state resources for public safety and recovery efforts, according to an e-mailed statement.

Fourteen people died in Indiana, 12 in Kentucky and one in Ohio, AP reported, citing state authorities.

At least 44 tornadoes were reported in five states, according to the U.S. Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma. Watches were in effect in nine states, meaning the storms had a good chance of forming. Weather service radar was tracking potential cyclones in Indiana, Kentucky, Alabama, Tennessee and Ohio.

In Clark County, Indiana, a high school was “extensively damaged,” said Major Chuck Adams of the sheriff’s office.

“There is a lot of extensive damage from Borden, Indiana, in the western part of the county all the way to the eastern part,” Adams said by telephone yesterday. “The hardest hit was Henryville, about 19 miles north of the Ohio River.”