Kentucky’s death toll from tornadoes rises to 77

Dec 27, 2021, 4:10 PM | Updated: 4:13 pm

FRANKFORT, Ky (AP) — Kentucky’s death toll from devastating tornadoes earlier this month rose by one as Gov. Andy Beshear announced Monday that an infant died last week. The state’s revised death toll from the storms is now 77.

The infant, from Graves County in the western part of the state, died last week, the governor said. Mayfield, the county seat, was hit especially hard by the storms, with hundreds of buildings destroyed.

“This is one that rips at the very fabric of who we are,” Beshear said during a news briefing. He was joined by Kentucky first lady Britainy Beshear.

“Britainy and I ask everyone to join us in lifting up this family and their friends and the community in prayer,” he added.

Debris removal in affected areas is “starting to ramp up,” Beshear added. While around 26% of Graves County is still without power, outages in other counties are down to less than 1%. Meanwhile, some 11,600 insurance claims have been filed.

“Rebuilding these homes and structures and lives is going to take years and we’ve got to make sure when support is needed down the road that we have it … and we can deploy it there to help these families,” Beshear said.

All together, the storms killed more than 90 people in five states. The National Weather Service recorded at least 41 tornadoes on Dec. 10 and 11, including 16 in Tennessee and eight in Kentucky.

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Kentucky’s death toll from tornadoes rises to 77