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Kentucky Experiences One of its 'Darkest Days’ After Deadly Tornado Outbreak

A local resident captured video of the approaching tornado

Kentucky’s Director of Emergency Management Michael Dossett described the damage caused by tornadoes in his state as “one of the darkest days in the state’s history.”

“This will be one of the most significant, the most extensive disasters that Kentucky has faced,” he said on Saturday.

Dossett said that “all assets,”  including the National Guard, are heading to Western Kentucky, one of the hardest hit areas. He also said that Gov. Andy Beshear had already signed a letter requesting immediate assistance from FEMA and is hoping to get a response by later today. 

Dossett urged residents to remain indoors unless in the event of an emergency.

One tornado left a candle factory in Mayfield, Kentucky, “just a pile of rubble,” according to a storm chaser who was nearby in the aftermath of the storm.

“When I got to this area, it was flashing lights in every direction. Trees down, roads impassable. It looked like a war zone.” said storm chaser, Michael Gordon.

There were about 110 people inside the Mayfield Consumer Products factory at the time the tornado hit, Gov. Andy Beshear said during a morning press conference. He said the loss of life in the factory alone was expected to be in the dozens.

Search-and-rescue teams are in the process of going through the rubble.

At a 5 a.m. news conference, Beshear estimated the state’s the death toll may reach between 70 and 100 across five or more counties.

Around 56,000 people were without power in the immediate aftermath of the event.

Beshear made the comments by phone with Louisville station WLKY-TV. He said a single tornado ripped across the state for about 200 miles.

“Last night Western Kentucky experienced some of the worst tornado damage we’ve seen, and we are urging everyone to please stay safe as there are still active cells,” Beshear wrote on Twitter around 2 a.m.

Southwest Kentucky saw “twin tornadoes” strike around 2:20 a.m. near Bowling Green, WDRB reported.

In Madisonville, Kentucky, a freight-train derailment was reported shortly after midnight, due to severe weather. No injuries were immediately reported, a spokeswoman for rail company CSX Corp. told Fox News.

Kentucky resident Kevin Thompson captured video of of the storms approaching at about 11:00 p.m. Friday night. The video was taken while standing on his deck outside his house in Central City, Kentucky.

Tornado sirens can be heard in the background as the dark sky is briefly lit up by flashes of lightning that show the tornado as it approaches the area. 

The story is still developing as first responders reach the area and emergency crews and officials assess the extent of the damage and casualty.

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6 responses to “Kentucky Experiences One of its ‘Darkest Days’ After Deadly Tornado Outbreak”

  1. 00chevyz71 says:

    I’m a resident of Bowling Green and more specifically, Old Tram Road, in Bowling Green. Old Tram was one of the hardest hit areas in Bowling Green. My family and our property was spared any major damage and what separated us and the path of complete destruction was merely 150 yards! Absolutely mind blowing that I can walk from my property where little damage was sustained, just 150 yards, and be standing amongst a path of total destruction. Its extremely sobering to stand with friends and neighbors that are looking at a slab of concrete or a pile of ruble that was once their homes, see in their eyes and hear on their voices, the complete anxiety and desperation they are dealing with!
    To see these kinds of natural disaster stories and reports on the news is one thing, but to actually stand in the midst of the destruction with those effected is something completely different!

  2. MontyLalado says:

    Kentuckians have survived worse, starting with Mitch McConnell

  3. UppityG says:

    Prayers up for those hit by this disaster. The images are horrific. Dear Lord, please help them in their hour of desperate need.

  4. HerrDoktor says:

    The photo in the article looks a bit like the continental United States. Really fits the sentiment that we’re all feeling this in various ways.
    What is needed most from outsiders right now? You’ve got my thoughts and prayers, but I’d like to do more if feasible.

  5. Reenie says:

    Prayers for everyone. Tornado’s are bad enough during the day but at night……. that’s what nightmares are made of.

  6. AllY0urB4se says:

    I live in Eastern KY, thankfully we got spared, keep our little state in your thoughts we love our people.