12 Children Are Among Dozens Dead in Kentucky as Searchers Look for Those Unaccounted For

Twelve children are among the dozens dead in Kentucky following widespread damage caused by tornadoes, and rescue workers continue to search for those who are unaccounted for.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said that the death toll from the tornadoes has not increased from 74, which he called "good news" during a press conference on Tuesday.

"The age range has gotten even harder. It ranges now from 2 months to 98 years, of the Kentuckians that we have lost," Beshear said. "Some not even getting an opportunity to experience this life."

Beshear added that "12 of the 74 are children, and there are unquestionably more than 100 people that are still unaccounted for."

Several local and federal search and rescue missions are continuing to search for those missing residents, he said.

On Monday, Beshear said that the "mountain of waste" left behind by the tornadoes has made it difficult for searchers to find the missing. He also noted that the number of deaths could change in the coming days as the search missions continue.

Over 400 Kentucky National Guard members have been activated to help the state recover from the damage, according to Beshear.

Over the past weekend, several tornadoes ripped through Kentucky, causing extensive damage and destruction. One tornado that traveled through the city of Mayfield is estimated to have been on the ground for over 220 miles, which would be the longest continuous tornado in U.S. history if confirmed by the National Weather Service.

On Monday, Beshear said that the swarm of tornadoes in Kentucky "will probably be one of the devastating events in U.S. history." Over 20,000 Kentucky residents are still without power, according to PowerOutage.US.

Beshear has created the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund to provide assistance for those in need. On Tuesday, he announced that the fund had received over 800,000 donations for over $9 million.

"Every bit is gonna go to help these families," Beshear said. "The state is gonna take no administrative fee at all."

President Joe Biden has approved a disaster declaration for Kentucky, which will provide federal assistance to the state. On Monday, he said he plans to visit Kentucky on Wednesday to survey the damage.

"We're gonna get this done. We're gonna be there as long as it takes to help," Biden said. "And the combination of state, federal and volunteer organizations [does] everything, from helping clearing the debris but provide the necessary means to move, get schools reopened, making sure that homes are going to be rebuilt, etc. So there's a lot, a lot, that needs to be done."

Kentucky Tornado
Twelve children are among the 74 Kentuckians dead following the several tornadoes that tore through the state. Above, an aerial view of homes and businesses in the city of Mayfield on December 11. Scott Olson/Getty