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Long recovery is possible in Kentucky's tornado-stricken areas

MAYFIELD (Ky.) -- Volunteers, workers, and members of National Guard fanned themselves out in Kentucky after a series tornadoes. They began the long process for recovery. This included replacing thousands of utility poles that were damaged, delivering drinking water bottles, and searching for the bodies.

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Long recovery is possible in Kentucky's tornado-stricken areas

Friday's tornado that claimed at least 88 lives in five states, 74 in Kentucky, caused a trail of destruction that ran from Arkansas, where a nursing facility was destroyed, to Illinois where an Amazon distribution centre was severely damaged.

Governor of Kentucky is. Andy Beshear stated that the death toll could rise as authorities continue to deal with debris that has slowed recovery efforts. Nearly 450 National Guard soldiers have been mobilized in the state and 95 of them are looking for the presumed dead.

"With this level of destruction and rubble, it might be a week before we have a final count of the number of lives lost," the governor stated. Still, efforts were made to repair the power grid and shelter those who lost their homes, as well as to deliver supplies.

According to, Tuesday saw nearly 25,000 homes without power and businesses across the state. This is a slight decrease from the previous day. According to Michael Dossett, Kentucky Emergency Management Director, more than 10,000 homes and businesses were without water on Monday. Another 17,000 are currently under boil-water advisories.

According to the governor, a fund established by the state has collected $6 million in donations. Kentucky First Lady Britainy Beshear started a Christmas toy drive in support of children who were affected by the storm. She needs $25 gift cards and unwrapped toys.

Officials from the state and local governments said that it could take many years for some of these hardest-hit areas fully to recover.

This isn't going to be a one-week or two-month operation, people. This will continue for many years. Dossett stated that this is a huge event.

Kentucky was hit by five twisters, with one of them covering an incredible 200-mile (320 km) route, authorities stated.

The deaths in Kentucky were not the only result of the tornadoes. Six people died in Illinois where the Amazon distribution centre in Edwardsville was damaged. Four others died in Tennessee. Two in Arkansas where the nursing home was also destroyed. Arkansas Governor Jay Nixon said that workers had shielded the residents from the storms with their bodies. Missouri lost two.

Monday's announcement by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (FSHA) was that an investigation has been opened into the collapse at Amazon in Illinois.

Mayfield, which is home to 10,000 people, was the hardest hit. The city was covered in debris from the destruction of buildings and shredded trees. Streets were littered with twisted sheet metal, downed electric lines, and vehicles that had been damaged. The buildings that remained standing were destroyed by windows and their roofs were torn off.

A church that serves as a shelter in Wingo is located near Mayfield. It said it expects to host over 100 people Monday night.

Glynda Glover (82), said that she didn't know how long she would be staying at the Wingo shelter. Her apartment was uninhabitable because the wind blew through the windows and covered it with asphalt and glass.

She said that she would stay there until they return to "normal" and that "normal" is something she doesn't know anymore.

Another town was also devastated by the storms. Homes were reduced to rubble, trees fell, and littered the landscape for at least one mile. Jack Whitfield Jr., Hopkins County judge-executive estimated that more than 60%, which included hundreds of homes was, was in "beyond repair."

He said, "A complete recovery is going to take many years."


Schreiner reported in Dawson Springs, Kentucky. This report was contributed by Rebecca Reynolds, an Associated Press writer from Louisville, Kentucky.

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