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US tornadoes: At least 100 feared dead after storms tear 200 mile path of devastation – World News

The US has been hit by multiple tornadoes following a super cell storm, causing serious damage in Kentucky, Missouri and Illinois

Homes were destroyed after a tornado ripped through on December 11 in Mayfield, Kentucky

At least 100 people are feared dead in the US after a swarm of tornadoes tore a 200-mile path across large parts of the country.

The deadly storms in the Midwest and South have demolished homes, levelled businesses and setting off a scramble to find survivors beneath the rubble.

The powerful twisters, which weather forecasters say are unusual in cooler months, destroyed a candle factory and the fire and police stations in a small town in Kentucky, ripped through a nursing home in neighbouring Missouri, and killed at least six workers at an Amazon warehouse in Illinois.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said the collection of tornadoes was the most destructive in the state’s history.

He said about 40 workers had been rescued at the candle factory in the city of Mayfield, which had about 110 people inside when it was reduced to a pile of rubble. It would be a “miracle” to find anyone else alive under the debris, Beshear added.







Kentucky was particularly badly hit with at least 100 people feared dead
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“The devastation is unlike anything I have seen in my life and I have trouble putting it into words,” Beshear said “It’s very likely going to be over 100 people lost here in Kentucky.”

Beshear said 189 National Guard personnel have been deployed to assist with the recovery.

The rescue efforts will focus in large part on Mayfield, home to some 10,000 people in the southwestern corner of the state where it converges with Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas.

Video and photos posted on social media showed brick buildings in downtown Mayfield flattened, with parked cars nearly buried under debris.







Homes and businesses in a number of states have been obliterated
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The steeple on the historic Graves County courthouse was toppled and the nearby First United Methodist Church partially collapsed.

Mayfield Fire Chief Jeremy Creason, whose own station was destroyed, said the candle factory was diminished to a “pile of bent metal and steel and machinery” and that responders had to at times “crawl over casualties to get to live victims.”

Paige Tingle said she drove four hours to the site in the hope of finding her 52-year-old mother, Jill Monroe, who was working at the factory and was last heard from at 9:30 p.m.

“We don’t know how to feel, we are just trying to find her,” she said. “It’s a disaster here.”







A boat sits at rest after being sucked out of a marine dealership by a tornado in Mayfield
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The genesis of the tornado outbreak was a series of overnight thunderstorms, including a super cell storm that formed in northeast Arkansas. That storm moved from Arkansas and Missouri and into Tennessee and Kentucky.

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 geographic and atmospheric sciences at Northern Illinois University.

“This is an historic, if not generational event,” Gensini said.

Saying the disaster was likely one of the largest tornado outbreaks in US history, President Joe Biden on Saturday approved an emergency declaration for Kentucky.







Tornadoes ripped through five US states overnight
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Satellite image ©2021 Maxar Tech)

He said he would be asking the Environmental Protection Agency to examine what role climate change may have played in fuelling the storms, and he raised questions about the tornado warning systems.

“What warning was there? And was it strong enough and was it heeded?” Biden said.

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

“We were very blessed that more people weren’t killed or injured in that. It could have been a whole lot worse,” Day said.







People search through a tornado-damaged building in Mayfield
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A few miles away in Leachville, Arkansas, a tornado destroyed a Dollar General Store, killing one person, and laid waste to much of the city’s downtown, said Lt. Chuck Brown of the Mississippi County Sheriff’s Office in Arkansas.

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

In Illinois, at least six workers were confirmed killed after an Amazon.com Inc warehouse collapsed in the town of Edwardsville, with the roof appearing to have been peeled back off the metal skeleton of the building.

In Tennessee, the severe weather killed at least three people, said Dean Flener, spokesperson for the state’s Emergency Management Agency.







Residents begin the process of salvaging their belongings
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The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center said it received 36 reports of tornadoes touching down in Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas, and Mississippi.

The weather forecast was broadly clear for Saturday night, but temperatures were expected to drop and thousands of residents lack power and water after the storm.

As of Saturday afternoon, nearly 99,000 customers in Kentucky and more than 71,000 in Tennessee were without power, according to PowerOutage.US, a website tracking power outages.







Six people were killed when an Amazon warehouse was hit in Edwardsville, Illinois
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Kentucky officials called on residents to stay off the roads and to donate blood, as responders rushed to rescue survivors and account for people in communities that had lost communications.

“We’ve got Guardsmen who are out doing door knocks and checking up on folks because there’s no other communication with some of these people,” said Brigadier General Haldane Lamberton of the Kentucky National Guard.

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