Photos and videos showed severe damage from a massive, historic tornado that struck Mayfield, Kentucky, on December 10, 2021. Mayfield is located in Graves County, Kentucky, and has a population of just over 10,000 people. Photos on social media showed the courthouse and police station were among buildings suffering major damage, and rescuers were searching for people who were trapped.
Photos of the courthouse showed the American flag tattered from the tornado and destruction all around. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear initially said it was “one of the toughest nights in Kentucky history,” and at least 50 people — and possibly as many as 70 — had died in Kentucky alone, CNN reported. The focal point for destruction was Mayfield, Kentucky, where a tornado destroyed a candle factory that had about 110 people inside it. It’s believed dozens of people died there, according to CNN.
Read more about the Mayfield candle company here.
However, later in the day on December 11, Beshear said the death toll was more than 70; it could exceed 100, Weather.com reported.
“I’m now certain that number is north of 70. It may in fact end up exceeding 100 before the day is done,” Beshear said, according to Weather.com. “The damage is even worse now that we have first light.”
CNN reported that “more than 30 tornadoes have been reported in at least six states,” and one massive tornado traveled more than 200 miles across multiple states, causing devastation on its way.
Photos also showed damage to homes. There were reports that a train derailed and damaged houses in Morton’s Gap and Earlington, Kentucky, just over an hour away, according to Timothy Hudson, a local reporter who posted the information on Facebook.
Pictures emerged showing the downtown area.
Tyler Hofelich, of an Ohio-based storm team, tweeted that the Mayfield tornado threw debris 30,000 feet in the air, making it one of the most “intense” tornadoes on record.
US Storm Watch tweeted, “Tonight we are looking at potentially the first quad-state tornado in US history which has torn through Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee and now Kentucky.”
Here’s what you need to know:
The Kentucky Governor Declared a State of Emergency
Kentucky’s governor declared a state of emergency. “Gov. Beshear has declared a state of emergency based on major tornado damage in multiple Western Kentucky counties. He has activated the @kentuckyguard and the @kystatepolice,” Governor Andy Beshear’s Twitter page posted.
He added, “We are praying for our Western Kentucky families.”
According to WeatherNation, rescuers were trying to save people trapped in a candle factory in Mayfield.
The West Kentucky Star reported, “Many Mayfield homes and businesses were leveled, and a large portion of the Graves County courthouse was destroyed.”
People took to social media asking for prayers. “Pray for my state and all others affected by this Tornado.. Kentucky weather aint no joke rn,” wrote the Bengal Central Twitter page.
WPSD reported that Mayfield residents were told to walk to the fire house if they could, where buses would be waiting to transport them.
Mayfield took a direct hit.
The National Weather Service tweeted Friday evening, “A significant severe weather outbreak is possible tonight across the South-Central US. Nighttime tornadoes are particularly dangerous. Keep a NOAA Weather Radio where you sleep so you can be alerted and take action when severe weather threatens overnight.”
Photos Captured the Massive Mayfield Twister
Photos emerged showing the massive Mayfield tornado. Fox17 reported that “extensive” damage was reported in Mayfield.
According to Fox17, Kentucky State Police said in a statement in the early morning hours of December 11, 2021, “Kentucky State Police, Post 1 is currently responding to a severe tornado event that spreads across multiple counties across Western Kentucky. There is significant damage reported. While no fatalities have been confirmed at this time, loss of life is expected. Multiple agencies from across the purchase area are responding. Updates will follow.”
The Tornado Was of ‘Historic Proportions’
According to Kentucky.com, the tornado was “of historic proportions.” It started in Arkansas, where it struck a nursing home, and continued through Kentucky into Edwardsville, Illinois, where it leveled part of an Amazon warehouse, trapping some workers.
The tornado traversed across multiple states.
The damage was catastrophic.
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