Monday Kentucky Tornado Update: 64 Dead, Tens of Thousands Still Without Power

Here’s where Kentucky stands since at least four tornadoes ripped through the bluegrass in what Gov. Andy Beshear is calling “the worst tornado event in the history of our Commonwealth.”

Sixty-four Kentuckians have now been confirmed dead, Beshear said at a Monday morning press conference. With his voice cracking, Beshear said that the ages of those dead range from five months to 86 years old. 

There are still 105 Kentuckians unaccounted for. Previously, Beshear has said that he expects the death toll could pass 100.  

Four urban search and rescue teams are currently on the ground in Kentucky. Hundreds of state employees have been dispatched to clear roads. In a “little light of hope,” according to Beshear, workers are starting to haul debris away in Mayfield, Kentucky, one of the worst hit towns.

Throughout the state, there are about 28,531 homes without power. There are many Kentuckians without water, as well: Three water systems are not operational, affecting 10,400 customers. A further 17,000 customers are under a boil water advisory. 

Kentucky’s emergency management director Michael Dossett warned that it will take time for the state to recover. 

“This, again, is not going to be a week or a month operation folks,” said Dossett. “This will go on for years to come.”

President Joe Biden To Visit Kentucky

President Joe Biden, who declared a major federal emergency for eight counties in Kentucky last night, intends to visit the state, according to Beshear. The governor could not provide any further details. 

Beshear said that other major national players have contacted him about helping, including the CEO of Amazon, Andy Jassy.

Volunteers Needed

Beshear made a call for volunteers to help at Western Kentucky state parks — including Pennyrile Forest, Kenlake and Kentucky Dam Village. These parks are housing families whose homes were destroyed. 

For those who would like to assist, they can contact Assistant Director of Resort Parks Andy Kasitz at 502-418-3581 and [email protected]

Volunteers do not need to have expertise.

Western Kentucky Fund Collects Millions

The Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund, started by Gov. Beshear, has now raised over $4 million with 31,279 donations.

The first disbursements will go toward funeral funds. Beshear said that the fund will provide $5,000 to each family that has lost someone. 

Families do not have to apply for funds. The state’s Vital Statistics group is working on contacting affected families directly.

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