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16 people still missing as Kentucky tornado death toll hits 75

Gov. Andy Beshear discusses President Biden's visit to Kentucky days after tornadoes killed at least 75 people.
Gov. Andy Beshear YouTube
Gov. Andy Beshear YouTube
Gov. Andy Beshear discusses President Biden's visit to Kentucky days after tornadoes killed at least 75 people.

On Thursday afternoon, Gov. Andy Beshear’s office said in an email that one additional death has been reported, but said the official death toll is 75.

Sixteen people are still missing, but Beshear said that number is dependent on people reporting those who are missing.

“KSP continues to use rapid DNA technology to assist in the identification of victims,” Beshear said. “Again, we need any family members of missing persons to come to where they're doing this at His House Ministries between 10am and 5pm today, any day to submit DNA.”

Beshear said Kentucky State Police are conducting welfare checks and the state has confirmed that 90% of the candle factory employees are accounted for.

“Right now the information that the company has given us is correct,” he said. “That would suggest just eight lost in that factory, which is a miracle…is an absolute miracle. ”

Beshear said room is still available at state parks, where stays have been extended from two to four weeks. Concerns have been raised about people who are undocumented staying in state parks.

“If somebody’s got kids, and all of a sudden have absolutely no place to stay, I want them to have a roof over their head,” Beshear said.

Kentucky Emergency Management Director Michael Dossett said the National Weather Service continues to examine the impact from the storm system. The largest tornado has been classified as an EF4, he said, with 190 mile per hour winds.

Dossett said a little more than 3,000 power connections are still out.

“2000 of those services cannot be restored and they will not be restored for weeks and weeks. And that's a very small area. And most of it is ground zero in Mayfield and some in Dawson Springs,” Dossett said.

Beshear said more than 700 FEMA agents are on the ground processing claims. More information about disaster assistance can be found at disasterassistance.gov.

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