Rescuers combed through fields of wreckage left by athat roared across the middle of the U.S., leaving dozens dead and communities in despair.
A twister carved a track that could rival the longest on record as the stormfront smashed apart a candle factory, crushed a nursing home and flattened an Amazon distribution center.
“I pray that there will be another rescue. I pray that there will be another one or two,” Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said, as crews sifted through the wreckage of the candle factory in Mayfield, where 110 people were working overnight Friday when the storm hit. Forty of them were rescued.
“We had to, at times, crawl over casualties to get to live victims,” said Jeremy Creason, the city’s fire chief and EMS director.
The death toll from the tornadoes and severe storms that hit several states Friday and early Saturday was at least 70, with Kentucky the hardest hit. Beshear said Saturday the death toll “could end up exceeding 100 before the day is done.”
“We hope there are still rescues to be made,” Mayfield Mayor Kathy Stewart O’Nan told CBS News’ Lana Zak on Saturday. “We fear that it is now just recovery.”
Deaths were reported in other states as well:
In Tennessee, at least four people were killed when a string of suspected tornadoes barreled through parts of the state.
Sixty miles north of Memphis, a tornado hit a nursing home in Monette, Arkansas, killing one person. One other person died in the state.
Six 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. Forty-five people have been rescued from the rubble. It is not clear how many remain missing.
President Biden signed an emergency declaration for Kentucky, allowing the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other federal entities to coordinate disaster relief efforts in the state. “Whatever is needed, the federal government is going to find a way to supply it,” Mr. Biden said Saturday.