Skip to main content
U.S.

Tornadoes kill dozens in Kentucky, 4 other states; thousands without power

Dec 13, 2021

Share

Officials in Kentucky, which received the worst of a rash of tornadoes in recent days, say thousands of residents in the state could be without heat, water or electricity for weeks or longer. 64 people died in Kentucky alone, with Illinois, Tennessee, Arkansas and Missouri accounting for another 14. The video above shows some the damage that resulted in multiple states.

“Eighteen are still unidentified. Of the ones that we know, the age…the age range is five months to 86 years and six are younger than 18,” Gov. Andy Beshear (D-KY) said Monday. “Remember, this is fluid and the numbers will change, and sometimes they have, thank God, gone down. Other times they’ve gone up.”

Overall, officials believe the death toll from the tornadoes will be lower than initially feared since it appeared many more people escaped a candle factory in Mayfield, Kentucky than previously thought. As of Monday morning, at least eight people were killed in the factory, and eight more are missing. The town of 10,000 was heavily hit, with hundreds of buildings reduced to nothing.

“I’ve been through the town a couple of times and saw everything,” Mayfield resident Elyce Ray said Sunday. “It’s just upsetting, you know, to know that that’s the town that you grew up in and everything, you know, memories, it’s all gone.”

In the nearby town of Wingo, more than 100 people took shelter at a church to wait out the storm.

“We just heard a lot of wind blowing. We was in a basement, the ceiling was coming down a little. Doors was blown open, peoples down on the floor, howling, crying and praying,” Mayfield resident Ronald Hayes said. “It was just bad. Thank God that we survived out of it.”

On Monday, the White House announced President Joe Biden would be visiting three different towns in Kentucky that were affected by tornadoes Wednesday. According to the White House, Biden will visit Ft. Campbell, Kentucky for a briefing on the response operations. He’ll then visit Mayfield and Dawson Springs to survey the damage. President Biden has already approved major disaster declarations for several counties in the state, and he said he stands to do the same for the other states affected.

“Matter of fact, I’m about to sign an emergency request from the Governor of Illinois, literally when I finish here I will sign that,” Biden told reporters Monday. “The thing they most need are power, water, communications systems to get back to some sense of being able to communicate with one another as rapidly as they possibly can.”