What may be the deadliest storm to ever hit Kentucky likely killed more than 90 people and left a swath of destruction that eyewitnesses and survivors struggle to describe. Drone video captured the Kentucky devastation. But even from the air, it’s hard to grasp the extent of the chaos.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear says four tornadoes swept through his state. One stayed on the ground for more than 200 miles after touching down. Almost 60,000 Kentuckians were without power.
“We believe our death toll from this event is north of 70 Kentuckians and may end of exceeding 100 before the day is done,” he said. “We will make it through this… We will rebuild, we are strong, resilient people.”
The community of Mayfield was particularly hard hit. Storm chaser Brett Adair‘s company arrived shortly after the storm passed and took these astonishing pictures. We’ve featured his dramatic work before. But there’s nothing quite like this:
Mayfield Assistant Fire Chief Jeremy Creason is looking for a temporary home for the main fire station since it was destroyed by the tornado, leaving it “fully inoperable,” he said.
Here’s another of his Live Storm Media’s flights.
Drone video captured Kentucky tornado devastation
The Mayfield Consumer Products candle factory was completely leveled. It’s feared dozens of employees may have been killed. You can see what’s left of it in the first three minutes of this video as rescuers scramble to help.
“My ears started popping. And it was like the building, we all just rocked back and forth, and then boom – everything fell on us,” Kyanna Parsons-Perez told CNN. While pinned by debris, she used her phone to broadcast on Facebook Live and called 911, her mother, and a coworker’s relative. She knew rescuers were around only when she felt people walking on the debris.
“I was screaming like, ‘Sir, can you please just get this so I can move my leg?'”
More than 30 tornadoes were spotted in at least six states. One killed at least six people when it tore through this Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois.
“We’re working with governors to ensure they have what they need as the search for survivors and damage assessments continue,” President Joe Biden tweeted “To lose a loved one in a storm like this is an unimaginable tragedy.”
Unusually high temperatures and humidity created the environment for such an extreme weather event at this time of year, said Victor Gensini, a professor in atmospheric sciences at Northern Illinois University.
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