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More than 70 dead as tornadoes ravage U.S. states


A woman walks away from a row of ambulances on the property of Mayfield Consumer Products Candle Factory after it was destroyed by a tornado, in Mayfield, Ky. On December 11, 2021.

John Amis | AFP | Getty Images

A devastating swarm of tornadoes ravaged six U.S. states, killing more than 70 people in Kentucky and leaving a trail of destroyed homes and businesses along a path that stretched more than 200 miles, officials said on Saturday. responsible.

Dozens of people were reportedly killed at a candle factory in western Kentucky, where about 110 people were working when a powerful tornado ravaged the facility on Friday night, causing the roof to collapse.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said 40 of 110 workers have been rescued from the plant so far.

“The level of devastation is unlike anything I have ever seen,” Beshear said of the damage from the tornado collection, with the main tornado having traveled more than 365 km through his state.

Heavy damage is seen downtown after a tornado swept through the area on December 11, 2021 in Mayfield, Kentucky.

Brett Carlsen | Getty Images

“Earlier this morning around 5 am we were pretty sure we’d lose over 50 Kentuckians. I’m now sure that number is north of 70. It could, in fact, end up going over 100 by the time. end of the day.”

Beshear said 189 National Guard members had been deployed to assist in the recovery, with a focus on Mayfield, a small town of about 10,000 in the southwestern corner of the state where it converges with Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas.

Mayfield Fire and Police Stations were destroyed, hampering emergency response. Mayfield is also home to the candle factory, which collapsed shortly after employees heard howling winds and lights began to flash, according to Kyanna Parsons-Perez, an employee of the factory.

“We could feel the wind… then we did a little rock,” she told NBC. “And then boom it all fell on us.”

Emergency crews respond to a damaged, Inc warehouse after a tornado swept through Edwardsville, Illinois, U.S. on December 10, 2021 in this still image from drone video obtained on December 11, 2021. December 2021.


Video and photos posted on social media showed brick buildings in downtown Mayfield reduced to rubble, with parked cars almost buried under bricks and debris. The steeple of the Graves County Courthouse in Mayfield appeared to have been knocked down, photos showed on Twitter.

The genesis of the tornado outbreak was a series of nighttime thunderstorms, including a supercell storm that formed in northeast Arkansas. This storm moved from Arkansas and Missouri to Tennessee and Kentucky.

“Unfortunately, this produced a few fatal tornadoes along the way. One of them could be a long-trajectory tornado,” said Roger Edward, meteorologist at the Storm Prediction Center. “The deadly tornado was one of them.”

President Joe Biden on Saturday ordered that federal resources be moved to places that need them most. Biden will speak at 4:30 p.m. ET, from Wilmington, Delaware, on Storms.

“Like a roaring train through the city”

One person was killed and five seriously injured when a tornado ravaged a 90-bed nursing home in Monette, Arkansas, a small community near the Missouri border, according to Craighead County Judge Marvin Day.

“It just took a direct hit from the tornado,” Day told Reuters. “We were very lucky that more people weren’t killed or injured. It could have been a lot worse.”

A few miles away in Leachville, Arkansas, a tornado destroyed a Dollar general store, killing one person and devastating much of downtown, according to Lt. Chuck Brown of the Mississippi County Sheriff’s Office. in Arkansas.

“It really looked like a roaring train through town.”

Cabins of Amazon trucks are seen outside a damaged Amazon fulfillment center on December 11, 2021 in Edwardsville, Illinois. There are reports that the distribution center was hit by a tornado on Friday evening.

Michael B. Thomas | Getty Images

In Illinois, the deaths of at least two workers were confirmed when an warehouse collapsed Friday night in the city of Edwardsville. Rescuers were looking for people trapped in the rubble.

Drone footage from the warehouse showed a chaotic scene in the early morning darkness, with numerous emergency vehicles surrounding the area and rescuers with flashlights combing through the debris.

The roof appeared to have been peeled off from the metal frame of the building.

In Tennessee, severe weather has killed at least three people, said Dean Flener, spokesperson for the state’s Emergency Management Agency. Flener said two died in Lake County and one in Obion County, but had no information on the circumstances of the deaths.

Shortly after midnight, weather conditions derailed a CSX company freight train in western Kentucky, although no crew were injured, a company spokesperson said.

The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center said it has received 36 reports of tornadoes affecting Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas and Mississippi.

CNBC contributed to this report.




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