Up to 100 people were killed Friday when tornadoes ripped through western Kentucky.
Gov. Andy Beshear estimated dozens of people were killed in Mayfield, where the roof was ripped off a candle factory, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.
“At least one of our towns [is] totally devastated. But we’re strong, we’re resilient. We will grieve, but we will rebuild,” he said.
WATCH: Aerial footage shows tornado aftermath in Mayfield, Kentucky pic.twitter.com/8bbc2q1klE
— BNO News (@BNONews) December 11, 2021
— Ryan C. Hermens (@ryanhermens) December 11, 2021
The scope of damage dwarfs that of past tornadoes.
“This is going to be some of the worst tornado damage that we’ve seen in a long time,” Beshear said, according to WLKY-TV. “This is likely to be the most severe tornado outbreak in our state’s history.”
“We believe our death toll from this event will exceed 50 Kentuckians and probably end up 70 to 100.”
“Remember, each of these lives are children of God, irreplaceable to their families and their communities,” he said.
This photo clip from the drone footage of the tornado devastation in Mayfield, Kentucky resembles an outline of the United States of America. It’s a reminder to pray for the people of Mayfield and for our country in general. #mayfield #USA #pray pic.twitter.com/KwuC7K5rSB
— Wade Burleson (@Wade_Burleson) December 11, 2021
Before and after of the Graves County Courthouse in Mayfield, Ky. pic.twitter.com/VvDXW0Kkwf
— Rebecca (@RebeccaMadding_) December 11, 2021
“It’s kind of hard to talk about,” Gordon said. “They’re digging in that rubble by hand right now.”
“It’s changed the landscape … here in Mayfield,” Kentucky State Police Lt. Dean Patterson said. “We’re seeing [destruction] that none of us have ever seen before.”
Mayfield KY at the candle plant. FD finds another person in the rubble around 6:00 am. Search & recovery will likely take a few days. Debris from building collapse 15-20’high. Sending prayers to all the families that lost loved ones over multiple states. #kywx #arwx #tnwx #mowx pic.twitter.com/DcUiKdzA6f
— Jeff Piotrowski (@Jeff_Piotrowski) December 11, 2021
— Scott McClellan (@ALAWXChase) December 11, 2021
“This will be one of the most significant, the most extensive disasters that Kentucky has faced,” said Kentucky emergency management director Michael Dossett.
The tornado that slammed Mayfield began on a 200-mile path in northeastern Arkansas and moved through Missouri and Tennessee before hitting Kentucky.
Beshear mobilized the National Guard and asked President Joe Biden to declare a federal state of emergency, according to WLKY.
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