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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Severe thunderstorms rolled through the Louisville metro area for the second consecutive evening, bringing high winds, heavy rain and hail described as large as "walnuts".
Late information indicted a house fire that killed two people was likely started from a lightning strike on South Third Street in Louisville. See other details in a separate story here on wdrb.com. The fire is under investigation -- and the area of the 3900-block was still closed to traffic as of 10 p.m.
Scattered damage reported to the National Weather Service and local law enforcement included windows broken out by hail and trees down in Goshen, in Oldham County; trees and lines down in several places in Shelbyville and scattered trees and limbs down with power outages in Louisville.
The high winds likely blew parts of the roof from the Crowne Plaza hotel just south of the airport. The damage forced evacuation of parts of the hotel, authorities said. Debris damaged cars in the parking lot. The hotel was full because of a convention at the nearby Fair and Exposition Center, a hotel spokesperson told WDRB's Tamara Evans.
The weather service reported a top wind gust of 64 m.p.h. at Louisville International Airport. Louisville Fire and Rescue crews responded to several reports of vehicles stuck in rising water, particularly in low-lying viaducts or intersections. The "walnut" sized hail was reported at Utica, Ind.
Winds flattened an outbuilding and heavily damaged a barn along Priceville Road near Priceville, in Hart Co., Ky., according to weather service damage reports.
Louisville Gas & Electric reported more than 20,000 customers without power in Jefferson and Oldham Counties in Kentucky on its online outage map as of 8:45 p.m. Thursday. WDRB viewers reported scattered outages in southern Indiana communities, including about 3900 Duke Energy customers.
Stay away from downed power lines. Report them to your local utility. Avoid driving into standing water.
There were no immediate reports of injuries from the storms.
The threat of severe weather prompted severe thunderstorm watches until 11 p.m. or midnight for counties in the WDRB viewing area.
Marc Weinberg and Jeremy Kappell are keeping up with the severe weather through their blogs and other information on www.wdrb.com/weather.
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