Kentucky Gov. declares state of emergency after lethal twister

Folks search by way of a tornado-damaged constructing on December 11, 2021 in Mayfield, Kentucky.

Brett Carlsen | Getty Photographs

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency early Saturday morning and requested President Joe Biden for federal help after a lethal storm swept by way of the Bluegrass State in a single day.

“It is devastating,” Beshear mentioned throughout a information convention, including that he had activated the Nationwide Guard in Kentucky. Greater than 180 guardsmen have deployed to areas in Western Kentucky, the hardest-hit part of the state.

Beshear mentioned early estimates have positioned the demise toll in Kentucky at 50 however mentioned that it may seemingly rise “considerably north of that.” He suggested residents who’re secure to keep away from areas and roads the place crews are aiding with emergency operations.

An outbreak of at the very least 30 tornadoes left a large swath of destruction. One tornado ripped by way of 4 states carving out at the very least a 220-mile path, rating it among the many longest tornadoes in U.S. historical past if it remained on the bottom.

Beshear mentioned the twister that slammed by way of Western Kentucky struck the town Mayfield earlier than transferring northeast by way of Benton, Princeton, Beaver Dam and truly fizzling out in cities in Breckinridge County. The governor mentioned that greater than 100 folks have been working at a candle manufacturing plant in Mayfield throughout the storm. The ability was leveled and is believed to be the location of “mass casualties.”

Bowling Inexperienced, the house of Western Kentucky College, additionally noticed in depth harm and canceled graduation ceremonies scheduled for Saturday.

“Vital twister harm within the space is affecting WKU networks and cellphone traces. WKU is involved with all residential workers and there are not any reported accidents on campus,” the college wrote in an announcement.

President Biden was briefed on the storms and mentioned in an announcement Saturday morning that he was “in contact with state and native officers because the seek for survivors and harm assessments proceed.”

Senate Republican Chief Mitch McConnell issued an announcement following the devastating tornadoes in his dwelling state.

“I’m praying for the lives misplaced and communities impacted by the twister devastation all through the Commonwealth. Thanks to the primary responders and the Nationwide Guard for his or her courageous efforts amid this tragedy,” McConnell wrote on Saturday.

“As I proceed to get experiences from my workers, native and state officers, we are going to work with all the Kentucky federal delegation to assist Governor Andy Beshear’s request for federal help with a purpose to help these hard-hit communities with the funding and assets they should rebuild,” he added.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul issued a separate assertion on Saturday saying this his workforce is working with native and state officers.

“Our hearts are damaged for all these affected by final evening’s horrible storms. I and my workforce will do all we are able to to help native and state officers as they lead the rapid response, and can aggressively assist households, companies, and officers entry restoration assets,” Paul wrote.

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