A deadly and tragic outbreak of severe weather has hit the nation’s mid-section. Seven people are confirmed dead and at least 50 fatalities are feared in Kentucky after states were battered by high winds and possible tornadoes.
Tornado watches and warnings were posted in nine states from Texas to the Great Lakes, and power is out in several places.
One of the hardest-hit places is western Kentucky, where Governor Andy Beshear says he believes more than 50 people — and as many as 100 — may have been killed. That death toll is not yet confirmed.
A roof collapsed at a candle factory in Mayfield, apparently trapping workers inside.
In Tennessee, at least five people were killed when a string of suspected tornadoes barreled through parts of the state and Arkansas overnight, including a nursing home in Monette, Arkansas, about 60 miles north of Memphis.
At least 2 people are also dead in Edwardsville, Illinois, where the roof of an Amazon warehouse collapsed during a storm. The storm pummeled the building until a wall the length of a football field caved in, reports Jenna Rae from CBS-affiliated St. Louis station KMOV.
Dozens of workers were inside when the wall and the roof above it came crashing down.
Aisha White was on the phone with a family member who was inside the warehouse at the time of the collapse.
“The tornado was hitting the back of the building, the trucks were coming in,” she said. “I told him to jump out the truck and duck. We watched the building go up, stuff hitting the cars, I told him I was on my way.”
While emergency crews searched for anyone who might be trapped, nearly 50 employees were taken by bus to a local police station to be checked out.
The severe weather is part of a weather pattern that is also delivering a blast of winter weather to the Upper Midwest.