More than 80 people are believed to have died as a result of tornadoes that struck six states late Friday and early Saturday, including Kentucky district judge Brian Crick.
According to CNN, at least 50 tornadoes were reported this weekend in Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.
According to a statement from Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice John D Minton Jr., District Judge Brian Crick was among those killed when a series of tornadoes ripped through the state this weekend. According to CNN, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear fears that more than 80 people have died as a result of the storms that ravaged his state, and he expects the death toll to rise above 100.
On Sunday, Beshear told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he expects other challenges ahead due to power outages and winter weather conditions, and that certain morgues throughout the state may not be large enough to meet current needs.
“One of our challenges is that we’re losing so many people in this that most of our morgues aren’t large enough, so coroners from all over the state are coming in,” Beshear explained.
Following Friday night’s storm, more than 50,000 people in Kentucky are still without power. According to the power outage, 53,553 people were without power as of 12:30 p.m. ET on Sunday.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that the majority of the outages were in the state’s western region.
Clayton Cope, a 29-year-old US Navy veteran, was killed when a tornado struck an Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois, on Friday evening, according to his family.
A 3-year-old and a 5-year-old were among the victims of this weekend’s deadly storms, according to Kentucky’s governor.
“I know we’ve lost a number of children,” Gov. Andy Beshear said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “This tornado made no distinctions. Anyone in its path, even if they were trying to stay safe, was destroyed in a way unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.”
According to a company representative, a tornado warning siren sounded 11 minutes before a powerful storm ripped through an Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois, on Friday.
“Managers were broadcasting instructions over the loudspeakers to get to the shelter-in-place area. They were also being directed by other managers and employees who were attempting to get everyone to the safe location “Kelly Nantel, an Amazon spokesperson, told CNN affiliate KSDK on Sunday morning.
According to CNN, six people were killed at the facility as a result of the tornado.
According to Nantel, the company is donating one million dollars to a local foundation for recovery efforts in the community.
Storms like the one that ripped through the central United States this weekend are the “new normal” in an era of climate change, according to the top federal emergency management official on Sunday.
FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell stated that her agency was ready to increase resilience in the face of more severe weather.
Criswell told CNN, “This is going to be our new normal.”
“The effects of climate change we are seeing are the crisis of our generation,” Criswell said. “At the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), we’re putting in a lot of effort to work with communities to help reduce the impacts of these severe weather events and help develop systemwide projects that can help protect communities.”
The severity, duration, and magnitude of the storms this late in the season, she said, were “unprecedented.”
Scientific research on the role of climate change in tornado formation and intensity is not as robust as it is for other types of extreme weather such as droughts, floods, and even hurricanes. Tornadoes’ short and small scale, combined with an extremely spotty and unreliable historical record, make long-term, human-caused climate change relationships extremely difficult.
While establishing links between climate change and tornadoes is difficult, there is a strong correlation between El Nino/La Nina and tornadoes. Tornado activity in the United States tends to increase during La Nina seasons, and it is worth noting that the United States is currently experiencing La Nina, which is expected to last into spring of next year.
On Friday (local time), US President Joe Biden declared a state of emergency in Kentucky after several tornadoes struck the state.
He requested federal assistance to supplement Kentucky and local response efforts in the aftermath of severe storms, straight-line winds, flooding, and tornadoes.