Kentucky Tornadoes Live Updates: NWS Rates Tornado an EF-4 That Moved Through Western Kentucky

Live Updates
  • Four tornadoes touched down in Kentucky over the weekend.
  • 74 people have lost their lives and the death toll is still rising.
  • Victims ages range from 2 months to 98-years-old.
  • 18 counties have significant damage, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear says it could be "years" before all of the communities rebuild.
  • It could be weeks before officials know the final count of death toll and destruction.
Kentucky Tornado
Waste and debris left behind by Kentucky tornadoes could pose further health risks for residents and those involved in the cleanup process. Above, a general view of tornado damaged structures on December 11, 2021 in Mayfield, Kentucky. Brett Carlsen/Getty

NWS Paducah gives Western Kentucky tornado EF4 damage rating

According to the National Weather Service of Paducah the tornado that struck from Fulton County to Muhlenberg County in Western Kentucky will be given a preliminary damage rating of EF-4.

Kentucky toy drive received more 20,000 toys

Kentucky First Lady Britainy Beshear organized a Western Kentucky Toy Drive to collect items for children affected by the storms.

At a press conference held Wednesday alongside President Biden, Beshear stated they've already collected more than 20,000 toys.

"I have no words to tell you how floored I am by the outpouring of support from not only friends and family in Kentucky," she said. "People all across the commonwealth, all across the country have answered this call."

President Biden increases federal level of funding for emergency work

President Biden amended the disaster declaration today for Kentucky which was first issued Sunday, increasing the federal level of funding for emergency work.

"Under the President's order today, Federal funds for debris removal and emergency protective measures, including direct Federal assistance, has been increased to 100 percent of the total eligible costs for a 30-day period from the date of declaration," the statement said.

President Biden will be addressing tornado damage in Kentucky

President Biden is set to address tornado damage in Kentucky after multiple tornadoes ravaged the state causing major damage and claiming many lives.

Here's how to watch: Live | The White House

Toyota plans to donate $500,000 to victims affected by Kentucky tornadoes

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky announced they're donating $500,000 to help tornado victims.

"In addition, do you know, besides our own donation, we are going to match our team member donations to these two organizations, not just one for one, but two for one," said TMMK President Susan Elkington. "Because we believe so heavily in the importance of our community and being able to support each other especially during times of crisis.

The Toyota Motor Manufacturing president also said they are also challenging other businesses in Kentucky to donate.

Kentucky National Guardsmen have been deployed to assist tornado victims

According to the U.S. Department of Defense, 500 Kentucky National Guards have been deployed to help assist affected tornado victims.

National Guardsmen are supplementing local and state emergency response personnel. "Roughly 80 of them [are assisting in] recovery support, another 50 for assisting the Department of Forestry with debris clearance," said Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby during a news conference today.

Kentucky safety division set to review deaths at candle factory

Kentucky Division of Occupational Safety and Health Compliance will review deaths of those whose lives were lost at the Mayfield Consumer Products as tornadoes swept through the area Friday night.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear stated these reviews are done whenever someone is killed on the job.

"So, it shouldn't suggest that there was any wrongdoing. But what it should give people confidence in, is that we'll get to the bottom of what happened," he said.

NWS confirms catastrophic tornado caused major damages at a Kentucky airport

The National Weather Center confirmed a EF-2 tornado with 122 mph winds struck and destroyed 13 aircrafts at Danville/Boyle County Airport Saturday morning.

Thousands of Kentucky residents still without power

More than 24,000 residents are still without power in the aftermath of the deadly tornadoes according to poweroutage.us

Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities deployed over 600 employees and contract line technicians to help with restoration efforts following the storm.

"Our infrastructure is so damaged. We have no running water. Our water tower was lost. Our wastewater management was lost, and there's no natural gas to the city. So we have nothing to rely on there," Mayfield Mayor Kathy Stewart O'Nan said in an interview on "CBS Mornings." "So that is purely survival at this point for so many of our people."

Candle Factory spokesperson denies employee claims

Monday evening, an employee from the Mayfield Consumer Products candle company reported to NBC News several failed attempts for permission to leave the job before the deadly tornado destroyed the building. The employee stated that supervisors allegedly threatened to fire them if they left. 8 employees died in the incident.

Multiple employees of the company also 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.

Newsweek reached out to the Mayfield Consumer Products spokesperson Bob Ferguson for a response to the allegations.

Ferguson denied the claims stating, " No one ever said anything to them about you must stay or if you leave it will affect your job at all". "If any employee wanted to leave, they were free to leave, that's just 100 percent false".

12 children among the deceased

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear gave an update on the 74 victims who were affected in the tornadoes that swept through the state this past weekend.

The governor announced that the affected victims ages are 2 months - 98 years old.

He also noted that 12 of the 74 people affected are children. More than 100 people are still unaccounted for.

Governor announced death toll has not risen

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said Tuesday, the death toll from the tornadoes has not risen from 74, and more than 100 people are still unaccounted for.

"We expect that this death toll will continue to grow," Beshear said. "With this amount of damage and rubble, it may be a week or even more before we have a final count on the number of lost lives."

Kentucky raised $6 million for affected tornado victims in 72 hours

Kentucky First Lady Britainy Beshear started a toy drive before Christmas for kids affected by the deadly tornadoes.

The state also set up a fund to collect donations and in 72 hours they received $6 million, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said.

Full story: Kentucky Raises $6M for Tornado Victims in 72 Hours, Toy Drive Ongoing for Kids' Gifts (newsweek.com)

Governor Beshear set to give update on tornado victims

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear will give an update on tornado victims who were affected by tornadoes which caused massive loss and destruction throughout the state.

Here's how to watch:

Governor Andy Beshear - YouTube

Kentucky First Lady details ways to donate to victims

Kentucky First Lady Britainy Beshear has organized a toy drive with local pickup locations in Covington, Independence and Grant County to provide some assistance for Christmas.

The toy drive is for infants to teenagers who were affected by the devastating tornadoes which caused many to have widespread loss.

Eligible items to donate include toys, books, electronics and $25 VISA or MasterCard gift cards, clothes, blankets, food, water and other supplies

Donations are accepted between Dec. 14-18.

Here's a list of ways and places to donate:

Beechwood Independent Schools

Matthew 25: Ministries, 11060 Kenwood Road, Cincinnati, Ohio, 45242

Newport Fire Department, 998 Monmouth St, Newport, Kentucky, 41071

Bourbon House Pizza: Collecting Christmas donations for kids - from toys to books to clothing items. Donations will be collected until Sunday the 19th. People who donate will also receive 10% off their order.

Candle factory employees allegedly threatened with firing if the left before tornado hit

According to NBC News' Deon Hampton, employees at a Kentucky candle factory were allegedly told they would be fired if they left to seek shelter at their own homes before a deadly tornado ripped through the building causing major destruction and leaving eight of their coworkers dead.

Reports indicate that hours before the tornado landed up to 15 workers asked their managers to allow them to leave, but their requests were denied.

One employee said supervisors told them, "If you leave, you're more than likely to be fired, "the employee overheard managers tell four workers standing near her who wanted to leave the factory. "I heard that with my own ears."

The company has since denied the employees allegations.

The death toll continues to climb in the aftermath of the deadly Kentucky tornado

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear announced at least 74 people were killed in his state, which he said suffered "the worst tornado event" in its history.

The governor also stated 109 Kentuckians are still unaccounted for.

"Again, we expect this death toll to continue to grow," the governor said.

Coroner released victims' names killed in the tornado

Warren County Coroner Kevin Kirby released the names of victims who were killed in the deadly tornado.

Here is the list of the 15 confirmed deceased victims:

  • Cory Scott – 27-year-old male
  • Mae F. White – 77-year-old female
  • Victoria Smith – 64-year-old female
  • Rachel Brown – 36-year-old female
  • Steven Brown – 35-year-old female
  • Nariah Cayshelle Brown – 16-year-old female
  • Nolynn Brown – Juvenile male
  • Nyles Brown – 4-year-old male
  • Alisa Besic – Adult female
  • Selmir Besic – Juvenile male
  • Elma Besic – Juvenile female
  • Samantha Besic – Infant female
  • Alma Besic – Infant female
  • Robert Williams, Jr. – 65-year-old male
  • Say Meh – 42-year-old female

Governor Beshear will provide update on tornado damage

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear will provide an update on the tornado damage today at 4 p.m. ET.

Here's how to watch:

WATCH LIVE: Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear gives further update on tornado damage - YouTube

Kentucky man plays his piano in the midst of the tornado devastation

A Kentucky man whose home was destroyed in the deadly tornado plays a soothing hymn on his piano that was spared providing hope for many in the midst of so much lost, pain, and destruction.

Victims of the tornado aftermath are in search for their lost possessions

Many people are in search for their lost items in the aftermath of the devastating series of tornadoes which swept through multiple states over the weekend.

Some have created Facebook groups to aid in the search efforts for their lost possessions. One group titled "Quad State Tornado Found Items," is being used to help victims locate lost belongings and, in some cases, missing family members or loved ones.

Full story: People Finding Photos, Other Items from Homes Miles Away After Tornadoes Hit 5 States

Massive tornado path leaves many Kentucky cities in devastation

According to The Weather Channel, The National Weather Service of Paducah has confirmed there was a continuous tornado path of 128 miles through their county warning area.

President Biden is planning to tour tornado damage in Kentucky this week

President Biden is planning to visit Kentucky Wednesday to survey the damage left behind by massive tornadoes.

Biden has already approved a disaster declaration in Kentucky, making available federal funds that will assist in rescue and recovery efforts.

Multiple lives were lost at a Kentucky candle factory struck by the massive tornado

Gov. Andy Beshear initially warned Sunday that the state's overall death toll from the series of tornadoes Friday night in Mayfield and other communities could exceed 100. But later in the day, the candle company said that while eight were confirmed dead and eight remained missing, more than 90 others had been located.

"Many of the employees were gathered in the tornado shelter and after the storm was over they left the plant and went to their homes," he said. "With the power out and no landline they were hard to reach initially. We're hoping to find more of those eight unaccounted as we try their home residences."

Kentucky Governor emotionally details the climbing deaths within the state

Kentucky Gov. Beshear became emotional during a press briefing detailing the climbing deaths and counties in which the tornado devastated.

Of the dead, Beshear said 20 are dead in Graves County; 13 in Hopkins; 11 in Muhlenberg; 12 in Warren; four in Caldwell; one in Marshall; one in Taylor; one in Fulton; and one in Lyon.

The ages of those dead range from 5 months to 86 years, the governor said, with six of the dead under the age of 18.

The death toll is climbing after a deadly tornado left Kentucky in ruins

Sixty-four people are confirmed dead and at least 105 are unaccounted for after a series of devastating tornadoes tore through western Kentucky Friday night into Saturday morning.

During a Monday press conference, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said the death toll will rise in coming days, and crews are still searching through the debri in hopes for a miracle.

"Currently, we believe there are at least 105 Kentuckians who are unaccounted for that we are still working to find," he said.