MAYFIELD, Ky. (AP) — Residents of Kentucky counties where tornadoes killed several dozen people could be without heat, water or electricity in frigid temperatures for weeks or longer, state officials warned Monday, as the toll of damage and deaths came into clearer focus in five states slammed by the swarm of twisters.
Kentucky authorities said the sheer level of destruction was hindering their ability to tally the devastation from Friday night’s storms. At least 64 people were killed in the state alone, though officials believe the death toll will be lower than initially feared since it appeared many more people escaped a candle factory in Mayfield, Kentucky, than first thought. As searches continued for those still missing, efforts also turned to repairing the power grid, sheltering those whose homes were destroyed and delivering drinking water and other supplies.
“We’re not going to let any of our families go homeless,” Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said in announcing that lodges in state parks were being used to provide shelter.