August 14, 2022

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Hurricane death toll rises in Kentucky

(CNN) – At least 74 people have died in Kentucky after Tornadoes Over the weekend, eight states destroyed homes and businesses in the Midwest and southern United States.

Governor Andy Beshear told reporters that the death toll comes from emergency management officials and may differ from what county investigators have reported.

The governor said in a press conference this afternoon that the numbers will change because “a number of our towns are under the rubble.”

In addition to the deaths in Kentucky, Bashir said, 109 residents are still missing. Authorities said at least 14 people have died in four other states: six in Illinois, four in Tennessee, and two in Arkansas and Missouri.

Bashir said that 95 National Guard soldiers are recording dead and missing.

“We hope they don’t find them,” he said. “Hopefully someone will call them and they’ll be there and we don’t know where they are yet.” “Maybe they don’t have cellular service.”

He previously described the destruction, saying that more than 1,000 homes had been destroyed and that a hurricane had traveled at least 200 miles.

“When this hurricane hit, it didn’t just take off the roof, which we’ve seen in the past,” Bashir said.

“I blew up the whole house. The people, the animals, the rest were gone.”

Aerial view of damage to a candle factory in Mayfield, Kentucky.

Among the victims are children

At least 15 of the Kentucky fatalities were in Warren County, coroner Kevin Kirby said Monday.

The coroner’s office said the youngest victims identified there included two children, Samantha and Alma Pesic.

4-year-old Nils Brown also passed away. The oldest victim identified in Warren County is May F. White, 77.

Family businesses are demolished

Just five hours before a hurricane tore through a city MayfieldKids filled Gibson’s Pharmacy for the annual Santa visit.

“The lobby was full of families. My kids were there,” said Sam Brown, whose father bought the drugstore 38 years ago, the year Brown was born.

“This is actually my last video of the property, a hall full of kids sitting on Santa’s lap.”

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Brown and his family survived the hurricane. But he said the pharmacy had turned into a “war theater. It was completely destroyed.”

However, the family is still committed to getting medicines to neighbors quickly.

“We have another site open on the other side of town. We want to be ready and working today…to serve the community as best we can. We’ve worked tirelessly to make it work.”

More donations (including blood) are needed

In just two days, donors gave $4 million to the association Western Kentucky Tornado Relief FundBashir said.

“Help continues to come from all over the county,” the governor said. “Thank you all. We feel your love here.”

He said the fund’s first outlay would go to $5,000 for burial expenses for families who lost loved ones during the storm. The state asked the burial houses not to charge the families of the storm victims more fees.

Bashir said that no family would have to come forward, because the state would communicate directly.

Senator Whitney Westerfield said more help was needed.

“We still need to donate blood and we can still use the donations” for the Western Kentucky Team Relief Fund, Westerfeld said.

“I encourage you, (if) you have a free space this Christmas, give it to Western Kentucky.”

The American Red Cross has set up eight shelters and is helping nearly 200 people, Kentucky Group CEO Stephen Cunanan said Sunday.

Cunanan said the Red Cross’s main goal is to provide food and care for people forced from their homes by hurricanes. “We have to help them get their lives back and help them get back to normal,” he said.

Cunanan said the emotional cost of disrupting your life due to a natural disaster is also an important consideration. “I’ve seen it in every disaster I’ve been through. They’re shocked. They don’t know where to go.”

Several state parks have also been opened to help families who have lost everything, Bashir said on Sunday.

“We receive them,” Bashir said. “We try to guarantee everyone a two-week stay, so they are not worried about tomorrow. They can worry about finding their relatives and making sure their children have enough to eat.”

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FEMA on the ground helping after the president Joe Biden agreed to declare a disaster Important during the weekend. The measure allows for low-cost grants and loans to go toward housing and home repair in the affected areas.

Biden said that Will visit on Wednesday To check for damage caused by hurricanes.

When lifeguards can’t go door to door because “there are no doors”

In some parts of Kentucky, it’s impossible to know where porches and front doors are.

“I have towns that have disappeared, I mean they are gone,” the governor told CNN on Sunday. “You go door to door to see how people are doing and see if they’re okay. There are no doors… It’s devastating.”

Mayor Chris Smiley said about 75% of Dawson Springs has been flattened.

“It’s the worst I’ve ever seen,” said Smiley, who has lived in the small town for 63 years. “It’s just devastating.”

More than 100 people have been reported missing in Dawson Springs, Nick Bailey, director of emergency management for Hopkins County. But officials hope that most of them have left the city and have not yet registered.

Bailey said “hundreds and hundreds” in the city of about 3,000 people no longer had a place to live.

“Almost an entire city was displaced at this time,” he said.

Bailey said those whose homes still stand are likely to be without power for up to a month.

50 tornadoes in 8 states

The National Weather Service said that while Kentucky may have suffered the most damage, at least 50 tornadoes were reported in seven other states over the weekend.

As of Sunday, EF-3 tornadoes were identified in Defiance, Missouri; Edwardsville, Illinois; Bowling Green, Kentucky; Saloma, Kentucky; and the Kentucky Strip between Case and Beaver Creek.

In Illinois, at least six people died when a Amazon warehouse Fire Chief James Whitford said he collapsed in Edwardsville.

The Edwardsville Police Department said the six victims ranged in age from 26 to 62.

One of them has been identified as Clayton Cope, a 29-year-old US Navy veteran. His mother, Carla Cobb, said he worked at Amazon for just over a year as a maintenance mechanic.

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The father of the young man also worked at the facility in the same position.

“If he (Clay) hadn’t been there, my husband would have been there,” said Carla Cobb.

An Amazon representative said the sirens sounded 11 minutes before the storm arrived.

“Managers were using loudspeakers asking people to reach the shelter area at the scene of the accident. They were directed by other managers and other employees trying to get everyone to this safe place,” said Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Nantel. CNN . KSDK on Sunday.

She said the staff had taken refuge in two unspecified safe areas. Nantel said dispatchers also called Amazon delivery drivers in the area and told them to take shelter.

In Arkansas, a storm hit the Dollar General Store in Litchville and killed Deputy Principal John Pennington, Mississippi County spokesman Tom Henry said.

Mayor Bob Blankenship said at least one person has died in a tornado-damaged nursing home in the nearby town of Monnet.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson said that only one person dying in a nursing home was a “miracle.”

“When I went to that facility,” he said, “it was as if the sky had sucked up the ceiling and all its contents.”

“It is a miracle with 67 residents that we only lost one there. This is due to the heroic efforts of the staff and also the fact that we have a 20-minute warning.”

The weather could be more severe on the way

While officials focus on the immediate needs of hurricane victims, meteorologists are looking at the possibility of more severe weather in the area.

While it’s still early days, some areas hit by the hurricanes could see the same weather pattern this week, said Michael Jay, a meteorologist at CNN.

This could include warmer temperatures followed by another potential risk of severe weather over the weekend.

CNN’s Gregory Lemos, Karma Hassan, Jason Hanna, Ashley Kellogg, Laura Studley, Kelly Westhoff, Susanna Cullinan, Eric Levinson and Amir Vera contributed to this report.