Friday night was nothing short of a total nightmare for much of the Midwest, as a line of supercell thunderstorms spawned deadly and devastating tornadoes across multiple states, which, so far, have resulted in dozens of confirmed deaths.
According to Fox News, Kentuck Gov. Andy Beshear (D) delivered an update Saturday morning on the ongoing rescue efforts and damage assessments after a night of tornadic terror in his state. The governor reported that the death toll was at least 50 confirmed fatalities, but added that it’s likely at least 70, and could go up to as much as 100 fatalities or more.
BREAKING: Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear: “We were pretty sure that we would lose over 50 Kentuckians, I’m now certain that that number is north of 70. It may in fact end up exceeding 100 before the day is done.” https://t.co/eXbnw6jZR6 pic.twitter.com/pmii4aBL1c
— ABC News (@ABC) December 11, 2021
Gov. Beshear also announced Saturday morning that he had already requested federal assistance from the Biden administration in an effort to bolster search and rescue efforts, as well as provide temporary housing and food to those who were affected by the devastating twisters.
“Significant loss of life”
The governor shared an image of the state of emergency he declared for the state, calling the severe weather events of Friday night “one of the toughest nights in Kentucky’s history.”
This has been one of the toughest nights in Kentucky’s history, with multiple counties impacted and a significant loss of life. I have declared a state of emergency and submitted a request to @POTUS for an immediate federal emergency declaration. https://t.co/KmMOl95t1N
— Governor Andy Beshear (@GovAndyBeshear) December 11, 2021
Even with the Kentucky National Guard called to the scene for assistance, the devastation is reportedly so unbelievable that rescuers haven’t even been able to access certain areas of various towns that were impacted by the rare December weather event.
“Kentucky is in need of federal assistance to respond to his event. Power outages are widespread. At this time it is apparent there is a need for emergency generators to power critical facilities,” Beshear’s statement read.
Though the tornado outbreak occurred at night, and visibility was hampered by torrential rains that accompanied the storm complex, several videos and images of the large and powerful twister were captured and posted to social media.
Video of the what I believe to be the tornado that traveled ~200 miles. Video from my dad’s front porch between Bremen and Sacramento, Kentucky. Terrifying. pic.twitter.com/CQ7aOHk2Gs
— 🅼🅼🅼🅺 (@mitchell_knight) December 11, 2021
Perhaps the most eye-opening footage came on Saturday morning, as observers used drones to survey the totality of the damage and devastation. Multiple video clips clearly showed entire sections of various towns destroyed all the way down to the foundation level of homes and businesses.
Kentucky Gov. Beshear says overnight tornado death toll is “north of 70.”
“This will be, I believe, the deadliest tornado system to ever run through Kentucky.”
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) December 11, 2021