MAYFIELD, KENTUCKY — (AP) — Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear says he fears tornadoes have killed 70 people in the state and the death toll may exceed 100.
“This has been the most devastating tornado event in our state’s history,” Beshear said at a news conference Saturday.
Severe storms moved through the area Friday night and caused catastrophic damage across multiple states.
According to the NOAA Storm Prediction Center, at least 24 tornadoes were reported across five states- Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee. Storm warnings continue in some areas and states of emergency have been declared.
A factory collapse in Mayfield, Ky. was the hardest hit. In an early morning news conference, Governor Andy Beshear said “This is going to be some of the worst tornado damage that we’ve seen in a long time,” he said. “We expect multiple fatalities.” There were reportedly more than 100 people in the building and the governor said casualties are expected from five counties across the state.
The governor also said the tornado event was likely the most severe and deadly one in Kentucky history.
State officials report that the tornado was on the ground for more than 200 miles and rescue operations continue into this morning.
In Tennessee, three people are confirmed dead as dangerous storms rip through the state. The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency says there have been two confirmed fatalities from the storms in Lake County and one death in Obion County.
An Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, Ill. collapsed after a tornado ripped through the area and at least one fatality was reported in Missouri.
Written by KFDM/FOX 4