At least 50 people are likely dead following a tornado in Kentucky, governor says πŸ’₯πŸ’₯πŸ’₯

“We know that we are likely to have more than 50 deaths, if not significantly north of that, from this event,” Beshear told CNN affiliate WLKY.

Most of the destruction centered on Graves County, he said, including the town of Mayfield. “It hit Mayfield as hard as just about any town … has ever been hit.”

The tornado was one of a multitude spawned in the overnight hours Friday as a line of powerful storms ripped through the central US.

The governor said “two tractor-trailers filled with water” are headed to Mayfield to make sure people have usable drinking water. Beshear had declared a state of emergency overnight, deploying the National Guard.

“We have one factory in Mayfield with a roof collapse that is going to be a mass casualty event,” Beshear told WLKY. Buildings struck include the Graves County Courthouse and adjoining jail.
Mayfield is a city of around 10,000 people, according to the US Census.

2 killed in Arkansas, officials say

At least 24 tornadoes were reported across five states — Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee — according to the NOAA Storm Prediction Center, with officials in Arkansas saying that at least two people had died.
And the potential for more severe weather continues over the weekend as the system moves east, stretching from northern Louisiana up to southern Ohio early Saturday. Tornado watches in the region are expected through 6 a.m. ET.

A tornado warning was issued for the Nashville metro area around 3 a.m. local time, as “a confirmed large and extremely dangerous tornado was located near Pegram, or 7 miles south of Ashland City, moving east at 50 mph,” according to the National Weather Service.

At least one person was killed in Monette in northeastern Arkansas after a tornado damaged a nursing home Friday, trapping others inside before being rescued. At least 20 were also injured at the facility, Mayor Bob Blankenship told CNN.

Another person was killed in nearby Leachville, when an adult female was “in a Dollar General store when the storm hit and they could not get out,” Mississippi County Sheriff Dale Cook told CNN.

Saturday's severe weather threat

Interstate 555 near the town of Trumann was closed due to overturned vehicles, according to Arkansas Emergency Management spokesperson LaTresha Woodruff. State officials had been told there was damage to the town’s fire department, EMS facility and a nursing home, Woodruff said.

In the community of Samburg in northwest Tennessee, multiple structured were damaged, according to officials. The town “is pretty well flattened,” Obion County Sheriff’s Office dispatcher Judy Faulkner told CNN.

In Illinois, an Amazon warehouse northeast of St. Louis was damaged. One resident told CNN affiliate KMOV that a family member and employee was trapped inside, and that others inside were remaining calm and working to get out of the warehouse. Video from the scene showed a large emergency response.
An Amazon distribution center in Edwardsville, Illinois, was partially collapsed by the storm

“It’s devastating to see the amount of damage there and to know there were people inside when that happened,” Edwardsville Police Chief Michael Fillback told KMOV on Saturday morning. Police did not know how many people were in the building at the time of the collapse, Fillback said, nor how many people may still be trapped inside.

A train derailed near Madisonville, Kentucky, early Saturday morning as weather moved through the area, according to a CSX spokeswoman. There are no reported injuries to the crew.

One tornado’s path — extending from Arkansas to Kentucky — if verified, is potentially the longest traveled of any since 1925.

Along with multiple tornadoes, the storms produced dozens of wind and hail reports as of early Saturday.

In addition, more than 240,000 customers had lost power across seven states by 430 a.m. Saturday, according to poweroutage.us

Setting off weather alerts Friday from Arkansas to Indiana, the severity of the storms is anticipated to diminish as the day continues, with the greatest threat during the early morning hours.

Much of the eastern US will be impacted by rain into Saturday evening. Isolated strong to severe thunderstorms may occur from the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys into the northern Gulf States, according to the Storm Prediction Center. Wind gusts, hail and an isolated tornado remain possible.

CNN’s Joe Sutton, Dave Alsup, Raja Razek and Amy Simonson contributed to this report.

At least 50 people are likely dead following a tornado in Kentucky, governor says

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