(KENTUCKY) — A devastating tornado outbreak in western Kentucky has claimed the lives of at least 50 people, according to Gov. Andy Beshear.
The total could reach 75 to 100 people, he added, calling it “one of the hardest nights in Kentucky history.”
One tornado was on the ground for 200 miles, he said, devastating towns like Mayfield and Princeton late Friday. At least four tornadoes tore through western Kentucky.
Beshear has activated the National Guard for search and rescue and recovery operations.
“We will make it through this, we will rebuild. We are strong, resilient people,” Beshear said at a 4 a.m. press conference.
Tornadoes were also confirmed on the ground in Princeton, Kentucky, just after 10 p.m. local time, in Mayfield, Kentucky, at about 9:30 p.m. local time and near Hornersville, Missouri, at about 8 p.m. local time.
Tornado watches were also issued in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Memphis, Tennessee.
Shortly before 7 p.m. local time, a “large and extremely dangerous tornado” was confirmed near Jonesboro, Arkansas, moving northeast at 60 mph, according to the National Weather Service.
In Monette, Arkansas, one person was killed at a nursing home when a suspected tornado moved through Friday night, Craighead County, Arkansas, Judge Marvin Day told Jonesboro ABC affiliate KAIT. Authorities had initially said two people were killed. Five others suffered serious injuries.
TRAFFIC ALERT: I-35 southbound north of Faribault is closed. Seven-vehicle crash. Northbound lanes remain open. Expect travel delays southbound. Check https://t.co/xbK5MXsJli for road conditions. Slow down, watch for emergency responders on scene. #faribaultmn #mnwx #I35mn #mndot pic.twitter.com/qDLoXEsga8
— MnDOT District 6 (@mndotsoutheast) December 10, 2021
Meanwhile, a winter storm warning has been issued in the Upper Midwest and the Great Lakes where snow is set to blow through Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. A winter storm warning is in effect for cities including Aspen, Sioux Falls and Minneapolis.
This will be the first major winter storm for the Minneapolis-St. Paul region this season. The Twin Cities area could see more than 1 foot of snow.
Along the East Coast, record-high temperatures are possible Saturday afternoon.
Temperatures are forecast to climb to 62 degrees in Boston, 66 in New York, 73 in Washington, D.C., and 77 in Savannah, Georgia.
But strong thunderstorms may hit the Carolinas and the Northeast on Saturday night. There is a small chance of tornadoes in the Mid-Atlantic.
Wind alerts are being issued from Chicago to Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. Power outages are possible.
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