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Kentucky is struck with historic disastrous deadly tornadoes

Kentucky Emergency Management Director Michael Dossett
Governor office-screenshot
Kentucky Emergency Management Director Michael Dossett

Thousands of western Kentuckians are trying to come to terms Saturday with something rarely seen in the Commonwealth, particularly during the month of December. Tornadoes hit many communities hard with reports of at least 50, and possibly as high as 100 people, killed in the historic severe storm.

Governor Beshear held a before dawn news conference and reported a candle factory in Mayfield was hit and mass casualties occurred there. Kentucky Emergency Management Director Michael Dossett explained how one tornado was on the ground for a long time. “The track for this tornado event is over 200 miles just in Kentucky and it may eclipse the 1925 record tri-state track for the longest tornado,” said Dossett.

Dossett said he’d spoke to county judges and local emergency management officials who said search and rescue efforts began before the winds stopped blowing.

Governor Beshear said all indications are that advance warnings were given, but he added it was a storm, “the likes of which we have never seen in terms of what this tornado did.” During the early morning briefing in Frankfort, the governor said he had family in western Kentucky he hadn’t connected with yet. “I know there are a lot of other people that are going through the same thing. It’s gonna be alright. It’s gonna be hard and there is a lot of loss. But, just like everything else we’ve been up against we’ll make it through this too,” said Governor Beshear.

Beshear said Kentucky national guard members numbering close to 200 would be helping out with search operations as well as clearing debris. The governor has declared a state of emergency in Kentucky and requested a federal declaration, which would clear the way for federal resources to come to Kentucky.

Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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