A series of hurricanes that hit six states in the United States have killed at least 88 people and left at least 109 missing, officials say.
Kentucky Governor Andy Bessier has confirmed 74 deaths. The dead ranged in age from 5 months to 86 years, he said in a suffocating voice. “Like the people of West Kentucky, I’m not doing well,” Bessier said.
The governor said 109 people were still missing and that “it could take weeks for us to reach the final balance of both the levels of death and destruction.”
“Without a doubt, there will still be (dead),” he added.
Satellite images show before and after the US hurricane
However, the governor clarified that the fear of a large number of deaths due to the collapse of the candle factory in the storm-damaged city of Mayfield was clearly unfounded. The building collapsed during a hurricane when about 110 employees were working at the Mayfield consumer goods plant on Friday (10) night.
Gemarien Hart, 21, said he was “delighted to be alive” after surviving seven difficult hours trapped under the rubble of a factory.
“It was so scary, so painful. The walls, the cement blocks, the metal, the wood, everything crushed you,” he told AFP.
The owners of the factory said eight people were killed and eight were missing in the crash, and that “94 people are still alive and well”.
Drone photo shows debris and crumbling buildings in Mayfield, one of Kentucky’s worst-hit cities – Photo: Ryan C. AP via Hermans / Lexington Herald-Leader
Thousands of people have been left homeless, and the governor described it as the worst storm on record in the state.
Tennessee, Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas: At least 14 deaths have been reported in the other four states affected by the hurricane.
Six people have died at an Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, southern Illinois, where employees were working night shift processing orders for the holiday season.
Jan. May 28, 2017 Saturday, December 11, 2021 Mayfield Consumer Products Candle Factory and nearby buildings Mayfield Consumer Products and nearby buildings after severe damage in the area on Saturday, December 11, 2021 – Photo: Satellite Image via APG Tech
Biden will visit the region on Wednesday (15) to assess the state of emergency, the US President’s Office announced on Monday (13).
On Sunday, Biden announced the Kentucky area “The Great Disaster”, Thus allowing additional federal assistance to run for recovery efforts.
“We will be there to restore and rebuild the population,” US Secretary of Defense Alejandro Myorgas told CNN.
Kentucky was hit by the largest and most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the United States on Friday night.
Deanne Criswell, director of the United States Agency for Disaster Management (FEMA), warned Sunday (12) that these states face a “new regulation” of the proliferation of catastrophic weather events.
Chriswell also outlined the “incredibly rare” and “historical” dimension of these hurricanes for this season.
Immediate concerns for the safety and well-being of residents are a priority as enormous recovery efforts approach and the cold weather begins to affect cities devastated.
About 28,500 people were without electricity in Kentucky on Monday, officials said.
Churches became shelters
In Mayfield, a small town of 10,000 people in southern Kentucky – part of the “Bible Belt” where the church has a strong influence – groups of residents tried to clear the rubble, search for objects, and help the most affected, and many churches were started. Should act as shelters for many evictees.
Images of fallen trees and ruined houses mingle with buildings that have fallen down due to the force of the storm in Mayfield.
“We’ve been working for so many years, and now it’s smoked,” laments 79-year-old retired Randy Kunell, who says, “No more houses, no more cars, nothing else.”
Vanessa Cooper, a 40-year-old employee of a local technical school, tried to recover what she could from her mother’s apartment, with only two walls standing. Three friends helped her remove the twisted debris as she crawled through the decaying furniture.
“I do not know what the future holds, but God has helped me to overcome many things in life,” he said.
Marty Janes, 59, sat in a chair left in his house and stared blankly into space as volunteers worked around him.
“I’m devastated. Surprising … I have nothing,” Janes says.
He was trapped in the back of the house when the roof of the house collapsed while his wife Theresa was in the bedroom.
After being rescued by firefighters, the couple parted ways for two days while Theresa was in the hospital, she says with tears in her eyes.
In an interview with CNN, Kentucky assistant coordinator Michael Dossett likened the situation to “a war zone vision.”
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