At least 80 people were killed from this weekend’s more than 30 tornadoes in six states, as thousands are homeless, without water and power, while the search effort for survivors continues, more thunderstorms midweek.
The devastating tornadoes that ravaged neighborhoods in five states have left thousands homeless. The destruction also has knocked out power for thousands more. As of 9:22 AM on Monday, 26,285 residents in Kentucky were without power, 6517 in Tennessee, 2126 in Arkansas, 1075 in Illinois, and 1595 in Ohio, according to tracking site poweroutage.us.
According to the latest forecast by the National Weather Service (NWS), another round of thunderstorms will fire up in the central US on Wednesday. Thunderstorms will span through Texas, over the Plains, and into the upper Midwest and Ohio Valley. The areas affected by this past weekend’s tornadoes will once again see thunderstorms in the region, while cold weather will move over the northern tier.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear announced on Monday that the death toll from the weekend’s tornadoes in the state has risen to 64, saying: “Undoubtedly, there will be more.” The youngest victim was 5-months-old and the eldest 86 years. The majority of deaths occurred at a candle factory in Mayfield, Kentucky, where 110 employees were working the night shift when the tornado struck, completely decimating the structure.
In Illinois, a tornado collapsed an Amazon warehouse leaving six dead, including one Navy veteran and one Army veteran.
On Friday night, a nine-year-old girl was killed when a tornado struck her family’s home in Caruthersville, Missouri. Hundreds from the community gathered on Sunday for a memorial. The girl’s mother was also hospitalized for catastrophic injuries and is clinging to life after suffering brain damage, several broken bones, and collapsed lungs that occurred during surgery, WSFA reported.
Fox reported that during an appearance on CNN on Sunday, Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanne Criswell said climate change was to blame for the deadly and destructive tornado outbreak over the weekend.
“This is going to be our new normal,” Criswell said. “The effects we are seeing of climate change are the crisis of our generation.”