MAYFIELD, Ky. — Gov. Beshear has declared a state of emergency after reports of significant tornado damage in multiple Western Kentucky counties. In a tweet, Beshear said has activated the Kentucky National Guard.
During a live briefing Saturday morning, Beshear said that there were multiple tornados that have caused damage in dozens of counties.
He believes the death toll will exceed 50 Kentuckians, possibly closer to 70 to 100 lost lives.
The primary tornado was on the ground for more than 200 miles in Kentucky alone, Beshear said. There were four likely tornadoes that hit in multiple places across Kentucky.
Power outages are widespread across Western Kentucky, with an estimated 56,854 Kentuckians without power.
"We will get make it through this, we will rebuild," Beshear said. "We are strong resilient people, and we will be there every step of the way."
Michael Dossett with Kentucky's Emergency Management Department said that this event rivals the 1974 Super Outbreak as one of the most deadly in Kentucky history.
"Rescues and search efforts are on-going, even before the wind stopped blowing, crews were out working" Dossett said.
Dossett said that this was a quad state event, with tornados originating all from the same system, which began in Arkansas.
These counties are believed to have some level damage or debris due to the storms: Fulton, Hickman, Graves, Marshall, Lion, Caldwell, Hopkins, Muhlenberg, Ohio, Breckenridge, Bullitt, Spencer, Shelby, Christian, Logan, Warren, Edmonson, Taylor and Marion.
The following sites are opening as shelters for those impacted by storm damage: State Park in McDaniel’s, Old Courthouse in Hardinsburg, Irvington Baptist Church, Cloverport Firehouse, Rough River State Park.
We will update this story as we get more information.