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At least 70 dead in huge horrible night of tornados:



"MAYFIELD — A devastating swarm of tornadoes ripped through six U.S. states, killing more than 70 people in Kentucky and leaving a trail of destroyed homes and businesses along a path that stretched more than 200 miles, officials said on Saturday."



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Tornado season usually refers to the time of year the U.S. sees the most tornadoes. The peak “tornado season” for the southern Plains (e.g., Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas) is from May into early June. On the Gulf coast, it is earlier in the spring. In the northern Plains and upper Midwest (North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota), tornado season is in June or July. But, remember, tornadoes can happen at any time of year. Tornadoes can also happen at any time of day or night, but most tornadoes occur between 4–9 p.m.
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Tornado was on the ground for over 200 miles!


Kentucky's governor says a devastating tornado touched down for 227 miles — more than 200 in his state — and deaths were feared in 10 counties.

Gov. Andy Beshear said at a news conference Saturday that at least 70 people were feared dead in Kentucky, and the death toll could exceed 100.


“This will be, I believe, the deadliest tornado system to ever run through Kentucky,” Beshear said.

Beshear said about 110 people were in a Mayfield candle factory hit by a tornado.

Local officials said national guard members and emergency workers from across the state were pouring into Mayfield to help with the search and rescue operation.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

MAYFIELD, Ky. (AP) — At least 70 people were feared dead in Kentucky after tornadoes and severe weather tore through multiple states and caused catastrophic damage.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said at a news conference Saturday that the death toll may exceed 100.

“This has been the most devastating tornado event in our state’s history,” Beshear said.

The storms hit a candle factory in Kentucky, an Amazon facility in Illinois and a nursing home in Arkansas. Beshear said about 110 people were in the Mayfield factory when the tornado hit.

Kentucky State Police Trooper Sarah Burgess said search and rescue teams were going through the rubble Saturday but didn't yet have a number for how many have died.

“We just can’t confirm a number right now because we are still out there working, and we have so many agencies involved in helping us,” Burgess said.

She said rescue crews were using heavy equipment to move rubble at the candle factory in western Kentucky. Coroners were called to the scene and bodies were recovered, but she didn’t know how many. She said it could take a day and potentially longer to remove all of the rubble.

President Joe Biden tweeted Saturday that he was briefed on the situation and pledged the affected states would “have what they need as the search for survivors and damage assessments continue."

Kyana Parsons-Perez, an employee at the factory, was trapped under 5 feet (about 1.5 meters) of debris for at least two hours until rescuers managed to free her.




In an interview with “TODAY,” she said it was the “absolutely the most terrifying” event she had ever experienced. “I did not think I was going to make it at all.”

Just before the tornado struck, the building’s lights flickered. She felt a gust of wind, her ears started “popping” and then, “Boom. Everything came down on us.” People started screaming, and she heard Hispanic workers praying in Spanish.

Among those who helped rescue the trapped workers were inmates from the nearby Graves County Jail, she said.

“They could have used that moment to try to run away or anything, but they did not. They were there, helping us,” she said. Elsewhere in Graves County, the landscape was a scene of devastation with uprooted trees, downed utility poles, a store destroyed and homes severely damaged.

At least one person died at an Amazon facility in Edwardsville, Illinois, Police Chief Mike Fillback told reporters Saturday morning. The roof of the building was ripped off and a wall about the length of a football field collapsed.

Two people at the facility were taken by helicopter to hospitals in St. Louis, Fillback said. The chief said he did not know their medical conditions. Edwardsville is about 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of St. Louis.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the damage was caused by straight-line storms or a tornado, but the National Weather Service office near St. Louis reported “radar-confirmed tornadoes” in the Edwardsville area around the time of the collapse.

About 30 people who were in the building were taken by bus to the police station in nearby Pontoon Beach for evaluation.

Early Saturday, rescue crews were still sorting through the rubble. Fillback said the process could take several more hours. Cranes and backhoes were brought in to help move debris.

“The safety and well-being of our employees and partners is our top priority right now,” Amazon spokesperson Richard Rocha said in a written statement Friday night. “We’re assessing the situation and will share additional information when it’s available.”

Workers at a National Weather Service office had to take shelter as a tornado passed near their office in Weldon Spring, Missouri, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) west of St. Louis. One person died and two others were injured in building collapses near the towns of Defiance and New Melle, both just a few miles from the weather service office.

A tornado struck the Monette Manor nursing home in Arkansas on Friday night, killing one person and trapping 20 people inside as the building collapsed, Craighead County Judge Marvin Day told The Associated Press.

Five people had serious injuries, and a few others had minor ones, he said. The nursing home has 86 beds.

Three storm-related deaths were confirmed in Tennessee, said Dean Flener, spokesman for the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency. Two of the deaths occurred in Lake County, and the third was in Obion County — both in the northwestern corner of the state.

The storms swept through Bowling Green, Kentucky, near the Tennessee border, tearing off roofs of homes and flinging debris into roadways. The GM Corvette Assembly Plant and the nearby Corvette Museum sustained light damage. A semitrailer was overturned and pushed against a building just across the street.

Western Kentucky University's president said on Twitter that one of its student who lived off-campus was killed. Timothy C. Caboni, the school's president, offered condolences and asked all students to check in with loved ones. He said the school's main structures were mostly spared of major damage and that workers were trying to restore power, campus networks and phone lines.

The school called off commencement ceremonies that were planned for Saturday because the campus was without power.

Ronnie Ward, a Bowling Green police spokesman, said in a telephone interview that rescue efforts in Bowling Green and elsewhere were hampered by debris strewn across roads. Ward said numerous apartment complexes in Bowling Green had major structural damage, and some factories had collapsed during the storms.

“Right now we’re focusing on the citizens, trying to get to everybody that needs us,” Ward said.


John Raby in Charleston, West Virginia, and Jeff McMurray in Chicago contributed to this report. Salter reported from O'Fallon, Missouri.

Bruce Schreiner And Jim Salter, The Associated Press

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Washington — Satellite photos provided by the firm Maxar that were taken before and after tornadoes tore through six states show the extent of the damage caused by the deadly storms, including at an Amazon warehouse in Illinois where at least six people died.


Rescuers on Sunday are set to continue combing through the wreckage left by the outbreak of storms, which left at least 25 dead as of Sunday morning. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear estimated the death toll would rise to exceed 75 people. 

The tornadoes barreled through at least six states Friday night — Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee — with extensive damage in Kentucky. In addition to hitting the Amazon facility and candle factory, a tornado also hit a nursing home in Monette, Arkansas, killing one.

In Edwardsville, Illinois, the twister swept across the east side of one of the Amazon facility's buildings, reducing it to rubble. The first photo below was taken in September, and the second was taken on Saturday:

Other photos show the devastation in Mayfield, Kentucky, one of the communities hardest hit by the storm. The first photo was taken in 2017, and the second shows the same area on Saturday:

A second set of photos from Mayfield show the devastation to homes. The first image was taken in January 2017, and the second shows the same homes Saturday, some of which were leveled:

A candle factory in Mayfield was also completely leveled by the twister. More than 100 employees were working at the site when the storms hit. Forty were rescued on Saturday:

Satellite photos from Maxar show the Monette Manor Nursing Home and nearby houses, with the top image taken in February and the bottom photo taken Saturday:


President Biden on Saturday signed an emergency declaration for Kentucky and pledged his administration would surge all necessary resources to states that sustained damage. 

"This is likely to be one of the largest tornado outbreaks in our history," the president said in remarks from Delaware.

Mr. Biden said he has spoken to the governors of the affected states, and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is also set to travel to Kentucky to assess the storm damage.






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I haven’t looked at any pictures of the tornado/s themselves, but judging by the first video and the amount of destruction left behind it’s pretty safe to say at least one was a wedge F4-F5, which is the most dangerous kind out there. Absolutely heartbreaking and devastating pictures. I hope they find many more survivors among the rubble and my thoughts go out to all those affected.


Such a terrible tragedy just before the holidays. Makes me even more grateful for all that I have.

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Workers at a Kentucky candle factory have said they pleaded with managers to be allowed to leave as a deadly tornado barreled towards them last weekend – but say they were told they would be fired if they left their posts.

The claim comes from multiple employees of the Mayfield Consumer Products factory that was destroyed in last Friday’s storm with the loss of at least eight lives. The workers told NBC News that they took shelter in bathrooms and hallways when they first heard tornado warning sirens, then supervisors ordered them back to work when they mistakenly assumed the danger had passed.


“I asked to leave and they told me I’d be fired,” Elijah Johnson, 20, told NBC, claiming that he was among a group of about 15 concerned colleagues who were refused permission to evacuate.

“‘Even with the weather like this, you’re still going to fire me?’” he said he asked his manager.

The manager replied, “Yes,” Johnson said, adding that bosses took a roll call to find out if anybody had already left.

Images of the wreckage of the scented candle factory, one of the largest employers in western Kentucky, has become symbolic of the devastation caused by the unseasonal tornado that killed dozens across several states. Some have already questioned why the factory was even operational that night.

The workers’ claims cast an even darker shadow over the events of the evening. According to NBC, citing another night shift worker, there was a three to four hour lull between the first alarm sounding and the arrival of the tornado that leveled the building, time in which she said the 110 workers should have been sent home but weren’t.

Related: Amazon faces scrutiny over worker safety after tornado strikes warehouse

Haley Conder, 29, said she was one of a number of employees who approached three managers again at about 9pm when the alarm sounded a second time.

“‘You can’t leave, you can’t leave. You have to stay here,’” Conder said the managers told the group. “The situation was bad. Everyone was uncomfortable.”

McKayla Emery, 21, interviewed by NBC from her hospital bed, said she overheard a group receiving a similar answer earlier in the evening.

“People had questioned if they could leave or go home,” said Emery, who said she had wanted to stay to earn overtime pay. “‘If you leave, you’re more than likely to be fired,’” she said they were told. “I heard that with my own ears.”

The Guardian was unable to reach Mayfield Consumer Products representatives for comment on Tuesday, but according to NBC the company is denying the allegations.

“It’s absolutely untrue. We’ve had a policy in place since Covid began. Employees can leave any time they want to leave and they can come back the next day,” said Bob Ferguson, a company spokesperson.

Ferguson said managers had not told employees that leaving their shifts meant risking their jobs, and that company management had followed emergency protocols from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

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5 hours ago, RUPERTKBD said:

Of course the company is denying this shameful behavior....<_<


I really hope one of the employees that were denied permission to leave thought to record the conversation.....

If anyone left the building after the "second alarm" they would have died. Tornado watch isn't tornado warning, and the tornado didn't spend 4 hours moving towards the factory like this article implies.


Whoever wrote that article doesn't know how tornadoes work, or is purposefully ignoring it to try and paint an even worse picture for outrage.

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3 hours ago, Kurgom said:

If anyone left the building after the "second alarm" they would have died. Tornado watch isn't tornado warning, and the tornado didn't spend 4 hours moving towards the factory like this article implies.


Whoever wrote that article doesn't know how tornadoes work, or is purposefully ignoring it to try and paint an even worse picture for outrage.

The point you are conveniently missing is the fact that all workers could have been sent home after the first alarm and the factory be shut down for 1 measly night. Instead the managers who likely had the owners approval decided losing 1 night of production wasn’t worth protecting their employees from potential danger. Not only that, but you also completely ignored the part about where workers were in hallways and bathrooms and then were ordered back to the factory floor.

No one said they tried to leave the building after the 2nd alarm if you had read the article properly, they weren’t trying to go outside during a tornado, they were trying to find protection WITHIN the building and were refused. Had workers been allowed to take shelter after the 2nd alarm fewer lives would have been lost. Hallways and bathroom are the sturdiest places to shelter when a tornado hits. An open space with a flimsy roof in the path of any tornado is the 2nd worst place to be when one hits. You have no protection in open areas.


It’s ironic you accuse the writer of ignorance when in fact you are the one ignoring key details in order to defend the people who thought 1 lost night of work wasn’t worth being safe with the lives of their workers.

I hope the managers, owners and company get sued into bankruptcy oblivion by the victims and their families. This was preventable not once, but twice. First after the first alarm when people could have been sent home and 2nd if they allowed workers to shelter in the face of danger. They chose not to do anything and the blood of those lost is directly on their heads and because of them.

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