The biggest and most devastating of four tornadoes that ravaged Kentucky on Saturday night crossed hundreds of kilometers and several states.
The storm originated in Arkansas, according to Michael Dossett, director of the Kentucky Emergency Management Division, and affected Missouri and Tennessee before making its way into Bluegrass State, where it passed through. the western half of the state before finally weakening in central Kentucky.
At least 50 people were probably killed, said Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear and tthe number of hats could climb between 70 and 100 victims.
Kentucky Live Updates:Get the latest news on tornado damage in the state here
Where did the tornado hit?
In Kentucky, it hit Mayfield directly before moving northeast through Benton, Princeton and Beaver Dam before weakening in Breckinridge County. Its path stretched for more than 220 miles, Beshear said in a 5 a.m. press conference covering the devastation.
Mayfield was hit hard. More than 100 people worked at a candle-making factory during the storm, Beshear said, and a collapse of the facility’s roof claimed “many lives.”
Bowling Green, the home of Western Kentucky University, also suffered significant damage – the school canceled opening ceremonies scheduled for Saturday in the wake of the storm.
Three more tornadoes were reported in Kentucky overnight, although those storms were said to have been smaller than the one that hit Mayfield. All four tornadoes hit western Kentucky.
Even counties that weren’t hit by tornadoes were hit by storms. More than 22,000 Louisville Gas & Electric customers were without power at 7 a.m., according to LG&E’s power map, and Beshear said more than 56,000 people across the state were supposed to be without electricity at 4:45 a.m.
Where is mayfield, kentucky?
Mayfield is south of Paducah, a town in western Kentucky with an estimated population of around 25,000 people. Mayfield, with a population of approximately 10,000, is located in Graves County, on the Tennessee border.
Mayfield High School is currently open to area residents seeking shelter, the school said on social media.
“It was one of the toughest nights in Kentucky history, and some areas were affected in ways that are difficult to describe,” Beshear said.