A man carved the longest competitive road on record as storm fronts smashed a candle factory, crushed a nursing home and flattened an Amazon distribution center.
“I pray that there will be another rescue. I pray that there will be another rescue or two,” Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said, as crews combed through the rubble of the manufacturing plant. candles in Mayfield, where 110 people had been working overnight Friday when the storm hit. Forty of them were rescued.
Jeremy Creason, the city’s fire chief and EMS director, said: “Sometimes, we have to crawl through casualties to reach survivors.
In Kentucky alone, 22 people were confirmed dead late Saturday, including 11 in and around Bowling Green. However, Beshear said more than 70 people may have been killed when a trailer driver hit the ground more than 200 miles (320 km) in his state, and the eventual death toll could exceed 100 across 10 counties or more than.
The death toll stands at 36 in five states, including six in Illinois, where an Amazon facility was attacked; four in Tennessee; two in Arkansas, where a nursing home was destroyed; and two in Missouri.
Victor Genzini, a severe weather researcher at Northern Illinois University, said: If reports are confirmed soon, the tornado “will likely go down to perhaps one of the more intense tornadoes.” longest track in US history”.
The longest tornado on record, in March 1925, tracked about 220 miles (355 km) through Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana. But Genzini said the rope could have touched down nearly 250 miles (400 km). The storm was even more notable, he said, because it came in December, when usually colder weather limits tornadoes.
Debris from destroyed buildings and shredded trees blanketed the ground in Mayfield, a city of about 10,000 people in western Kentucky. Sheets of metal were twisted, power lines were down, and wrecked vehicles littered the streets. Windows and roofs that had been blown off the buildings were still standing.
Those missing at the candle factory include Janine Denise Johnson Williams, a 50-year-old mother of four whose family members were on guard at the site Saturday.
“It was Christmas and she worked at a place that made candles for gifts,” her brother, Darryl Williams, said. “Give up the gift of life for a gift. We haven’t heard anything yet, and I don’t anticipate anything. But I’m expecting the worst.”
He said Johnson Williams called her husband overnight to report the bad weather, the last time anyone heard from her.
Kyanna Parsons-Perez, an employee at the plant, was trapped under the debris 5 feet (about 1.5 meters) for at least two hours until rescuers freed her.
In an interview with NBC’s “Today,” she said it was the “most horrifying event” she had ever experienced. “I absolutely didn’t think I would make it.”
Just before the tornado hit, the building’s lights flickered. She felt a gust of wind, her ears started ringing, and then, “Boom. Everything hit us.” People started screaming, and she heard other workers praying.
Kentucky State trooper Sarah Burgess said rescue teams were using heavy equipment to move debris at the candle factory. Coroners were called to the scene and bodies were recovered, but she did not know how many were there.
Rescue efforts were complicated because Mayfield’s main fire station and emergency services center were also affected by the tornado, Creason said.
After a wall at a nursing home in Mayfield collapsed, Vernon Evans said he ran to help firefighters pull people out, only to find a resident lying dead a few inches in the water.
“All I could do was sit there and hold my head high,” he said. “I’ve never been through something like this.”
President Joe Biden approved an emergency disaster declaration for Kentucky on Saturday and pledged to assist affected states.
“I promise you, whatever is needed – whatever is needed – the federal government will find a way to provide it,” Biden said.
The news from Edwardsville was tragic. We are heartbroken over the loss of our comrades there, and our thoughts and prayers go out to their families and loved ones. (1/2)
– Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) December 12, 2021
Sheriff James Whiteford said six people were killed in the Amazon warehouse collapse in Edwardsville, Illinois.
Investigators searched the wreckage throughout the day for more victims and 45 survivors, Whiteford said. Authorities were not sure on Saturday night whether anyone remained unidentified as workers were changing shifts when the tornado hit around 8:30 p.m. Friday.
“This is a terrible tragedy for our Amazon family, and our focus is on supporting our employees and partners,” Amazon spokesman Richard Rocha said in a written statement. copy.
The Retail, Wholesale, and Department Stores Union, which is trying to put workers at an Amazon facility in Alabama, has criticized the company for keeping the Illinois location open during the emergency. weather.
Missouri Governor Mike Parson’s office said the storms have killed at least two people in the state and initial assessments suggest they have destroyed or caused extensive damage to hundreds of homes and buildings.
Workers at the National Weather Service office took shelter when a tornado passed near their office in Weldon Spring, Missouri, about a block from St. Louis about 30 miles (48 km) to the west.
“This was an incredible storm that lasted for a long time and covered a lot of territory,” said Larry Vannozzi, meteorologist in charge of the National Weather Service’s office in the Nashville area.
Meteorologists have yet to determine whether the storm spawned a single tornado or multiple tornadoes, he said.
In Arkansas, a tornado hit a nursing home in Monette, leaving one person dead and 20 trapped inside as the building collapsed, Craighead County Judge Marvin Day told The Associated Press.
Governor Asa Hutchinson said another person was killed when the storm hit a Dollar General store in nearby Leachville.
“Perhaps the most remarkable thing is that there was no greater loss of life,” Hutchinson said after touring the nursing home’s ruins. “It was a disaster. It was a complete annihilation.”
The Tennessee Department of Emergency Management says four hurricane-related deaths have been confirmed in northwest Tennessee.
“This is the saddest thing I’ve ever seen,” said Tennessee Governor Bill Lee after touring the community of Dresden, which saw the downtown corridor torn down. “The whole town, the whole town.”
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https://abc13.com/edwardsville-tornado-illinois-kentucky-amazon-factory-collapse/11329553/ How big was the tornado in Kentucky? Rescuers search in the context of KY deaths due to tornadoes, in Edwardsville, Illinois, Amazon facility