More than 70 dead in Kentucky after tornadoes hit central U.S.; 6 dead at Amazon warehouse in Illinois

More than 70 dead in Kentucky after tornadoes hit central U.S.; 6 dead at Amazon warehouse in Illinois

The death toll from tornadoes and severe storms that hit several states Friday and early Saturday was at least 70, with Kentucky the hardest hit.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said earlier Saturday the death toll "could end up exceeding 100 before the day is done."

A candle factory in Mayfield, Kentucky, collapsed with 110 people inside. Only 40 people had been rescued from the rubble as of Saturday afternoon, the governor said.


A woman walks away from a row of ambulances on the property of Mayfield Consumer Products Candle Factory after it was destroyed by a tornado in Mayfield, Kentucky, on December 11, 2021.

"We hope there are still rescues to be made," Mayfield Mayor Kathy Stewart O'Nan told CBS News' Lana Zak on Saturday. "We fear that it is now just recovery."

Deaths were reported in other states as well:

In Tennessee, at least four people were killed when a string of suspected tornadoes barreled through parts of the state.

Sixty miles north of Memphis, a tornado hit a nursing home in Monette, Arkansas, killing one person. One other person died in the state.

Six people are also dead in Edwardsville, Illinois, where the roof of an Amazon warehouse collapsed during a storm. The storm pummeled the building until a wall the length of a football field caved in, reports Jenna Rae from CBS-affiliated St. Louis station KMOV. Forty-five people have been rescued from the rubble. It is not clear how many remain missing.

Tornado watches and warnings were posted in nine states from Texas to the Great Lakes, and power is out in many places.

President Biden signed an emergency declaration for Kentucky, allowing FEMA and other federal agencies to coordinate disaster relief efforts in the state. "Whatever is needed, the federal government is going to find a way to supply it," Mr. Biden said Saturday at a press conference.

CBS NEWS