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Tornadoes

Martha Thomas stays warm with a bed comforter as volunteers help salvage possessions from her destroyed home in the aftermath of tornadoes that tore through the region several days earlier, in Mayfield, Ky., Monday, Dec. 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said at a press conference on Monday (Dec. 13) afternoon that the confirmed death toll in his state had risen to 74 in the wake of the historic tornado outbreak, with at least another 109 unaccounted for throughout the state, according to AccuWeather.

“We expect that this death toll will continue to grow,” Beshear said, noting that the numbers he provided may differ slightly from those of individual coroner’s offices. The governor said the actual number of those still missing was likely “way more” than the number he gave and that the search for the missing was ongoing.

Combined fatalities from the historic tornado outbreak in Illinois, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Missouri totaled at least 14, according to The Associated Press, making the death toll from the tornado outbreak 88 across five states.

There were a total of 34 confirmed tornados across eight states in the weekend outbreak, seven of which were rated EF-3 strength by the National Weather Service. One of the 34 confirmed tornadoes that occurred under cover of darkness Friday night had an approximate 227-mile-long-path of destruction spanning four states, with 200 miles of destruction in Kentucky alone. As of Tuesday, surveys are still ongoing and will continue throughout the week in what is expected to go down as one of the largest and deadliest tornado events in United States history.

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