State Watch

Kentucky governor expects tornado death toll to rise

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) on Sunday said he expects the death toll from this weekend’s tornado event will rise.

Beshear told co-host Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union” that more than 80 Kentuckians have died as a result of the severe weather conditions but warned that the “number is gonna exceed more than 100.”

“This is the deadliest tornado event we have ever had. I think it’s going to be the longest and deadliest tornado event in U.S. history,” he said.

Tornadoes tore through Kentucky late Friday into Saturday, leaving devastating damage and tens of thousands of people without power. One of the tornadoes was on the ground for more than 227 miles, according to Beshear, 200 of which were in Kentucky.

Authorities in the state are now asking individuals not to travel to areas hit by the storm. Kentucky State Police also said traffic control devices are not operating properly and lighting is not available at a number of intersections in the area because of “widespread power outages,” creating “a serious hazard.”

One area of concern in the state is a candle factory in Mayfield, where roughly 110 people were working when the tornado hit. Beshear on Sunday said about 40 of the people inside have been rescued but was skeptical of more people being pulled out alive.

“I’m not sure that we’re going to see another rescue. I pray for it. It would be an incredibly welcomed miracle. But I think it’s been since 3:30 yesterday morning that we found a live person,” Beshear said.

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