Tornado Photos, Videos Show Severe Damage Across Mayfield, Kentucky

A tornado has torn through Mayfield, Kentucky, with pictures and video shared on social media showing the extent of the damage.

The devastation caused by the severe weather has been accompanied by a significant loss of life. The death toll may exceed 50, according to Governor Andy Beshear.

He later told a news conference, there could be as many as between 70 and 100 dead across five or more counties.

Just before midnight Friday, Beshear had issued a state of emergency and activated the Kentucky National Guard and other agencies to deal with the devastation.

"The damage is significant and we expect multiple fatalities," he said in a news conference, adding that Graves County and "specifically the city of Mayfield have been hit really hard."

"This is going to be some of the worst tornado damage that we have seen in a long time," he added. The tornado struck the city at around 9.30 p.m. local time Friday, impacting municipal buildings and homes.

Graves County courthouse Mayfield, Kentucky
The split image shows a the Graves County courthouse in Mayfield, Kentucky before and after it was damaged by a tornado on December 10, 2021. Dozens are feared dead in the city after the extreme weather event. Getty and Google Maps
Emmanuel Baptist Church Kentucky
Interior view of tornado damage to Emmanuel Baptist Church on December 11, 2021 in Mayfield, Kentucky. Multiple tornadoes tore through parts of the lower Midwest late on Friday night, leaving a large path of destruction. Brett Carlsen/Getty
Street in Mayfield, Kentucky
Heavy damage is seen downtown after a tornado swept through the area on December 11, 2021 in Mayfield, Kentucky. The city was hit hard by a tornado with widespread damage and fatalities. Brett Carlsen/Getty

WPSD Local 6 tweeted images of fallen trees, smashed building windows and scattered debris in the city of around 10,000 people.

The station said that the Graves County Emergency Management Office advised local residents who can walk safely to head to the fire station where buses were available to take them to safety.

Video posted on Facebook video from inside a candle factory in the city illustrated the fear faced by people trapped by debris

A number of voices can be heard in the clip which is mostly in darkness. A woman is heard saying "I don't know who's watching. We got hit by a hurricane. I'm at work in Mayfield and we are trapped."

"Please, get us some help," she added. Chris Jackson, a storm watcher, tweeted that emergency services arrived at the factory just before 1am.

"We have multiple cars kinda fused into a tractor-trailer, the candle factory was apparently 120,000sq ft and the entire building is gone," Jackson tweeted, "there is at least 1 vehicle sitting in what used to be the middle of the building."

Tyler Hofelich, who also follows storms, tweeted that the tornado "has lofted debris over 30,000 feet into the air," and described it as "among the most intense" ever recorded.

Just after 11:30 p.m Friday, Kentucky State Police said no fatalities were confirmed, but "loss of life is expected."

Tornado-damaged building, Mayfield, Kentucky
People search through a tornado-damaged building on December 11, 2021 in Mayfield, Kentucky. The state's mayor Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency. Brett Carlsen/Getty
Mayfield, Kentucky after tornado
Heavy damage is seen downtown after a tornado swept through the area on December 11, 2021 in Mayfield, Kentucky. Around 100 people are feared dead in the state following the extreme weather event. Brett Carlsen/Getty
Mayfield city hall, Kentucky
Heavy damage is seen of the Mayfield city hall and police department after a tornado swept through the area on December 11, 2021 in Mayfield, Kentucky. Brett Carlsen/Getty

The severe weather that hit the region left a wide path of destruction. U.S Storm Watch tweeted that it was "potentially the first quad-state tornado in US history which has torn through Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee and now Kentucky."

A train was also derailed during extreme winds in Hopkins County, Kentucky, WKYT-TV reported. Meanwhile, at least one person was killed at the Monette Manor nursing home in northern Arkansas and at least five other people there sustained serious injuries.

The storms also tore down and damaged around one-third of an Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois, where it is believed that people are trapped inside, CBS-affiliate KMOV reported.

Update 12/11/21, 10:45 a.m. ET: This article has been updated with new images.