Washington [US], December 13 (ANI): More than 80 people are feared dead following reports of tornadoes late Friday and early Saturday in six states of the US, while Kentucky district judge Brian Crick was among those who lost his life.
There were at least 50 tornado reports during the outbreak this weekend in Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee, reported CNN.
District Judge Brian Crick was among those who lost their lives when a series of tornadoes pummeled the state this weekend, according to a statement from Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice John D Minton Jr.
Kentucky governor Andy Beshear says he fears that more than 80 lives have been lost in the storms that pummeled his state and that he expects the death toll to rise over 100, reported CNN.
Beshear told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday that he also expects other challenges ahead given power outages and winter weather conditions and said that certain morgues throughout the state may not be big enough to accommodate the current needs.
"One of our challenges is we're losing so many people in this, most of our morgues aren't big enough, so our coroners from all over the state are coming in," Beshear said.
More than 50,000 residents across the state of Kentucky remain without power following Friday night's storm.
As of 12:30 pm ET on Sunday, 53,553 people are without power according to PowerOutage.US.
In an interview on Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said most of the outages were in the Western part of the state.
The family of Clayton Cope, a 29-year-old US Navy veteran, confirmed to CNN that he died when a tornado hit an Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois, on Friday evening.
The governor of Kentucky confirmed a 3-year-old and 5-year-old are among the victims of this weekend's deadly storms.
"I know we've lost a number of kids," Gov Andy Beshear said Sunday on CBS "Face the Nation." "This tornado didn't discriminate. Anybody in its path, even if they were trying to be safe, again, just like nothing we've ever seen before."A tornado warning siren sounded 11 minutes prior to a powerful storm ripping through an Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois, on Friday, according to a company representative.
"Managers were on the loudspeakers telling people to get to the shelter-in-place area. They were also being guided by other managers and other employees who were trying to get everybody to that safe location," Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel told CNN affiliate KSDK Sunday morning.
Six people were killed at the facility as a result of the tornado, CNN previously reported.
The company is donating one million dollars to a local foundation for recovery efforts in the local community, Nantel said.
Powerful storms like the ones that tore through parts of the central United States this weekend are the "new normal" in an era of climate change, the top federal emergency management official said on Sunday.
Deanne Criswell, the FEMA administrator, said her agency was prepared to bolster resilience in the face of more severe weather.
"This is going to be our new normal," Criswell told CNN.
"The effects we are seeing of climate change are the crisis of our generation," Criswell said. "We're taking a lot of efforts at Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to work with communities to help reduce the impacts that we're seeing from these severe weather events and help to develop systemwide projects that can help protect communities."She said the severity, duration and magnitude of the storms this late in the year were "unprecedented."Scientific research on the role that climate change is playing in the formation and intensity of tornadoes is not as robust as for other types of extreme weather like droughts, floods and even hurricanes. The short and small scale of tornadoes, along with an extremely spotty and unreliable historical record for them, makes relationships to long-term, human-caused climate change very difficult.
While establishing connections between climate change and tornadoes is difficult, the correlation between El Nino/La Nina and tornadoes is strong. La Nina seasons tend to have increased tornado activity in the US, and it is worth noting that the US is currently experiencing La Nina, which is expected to last into spring of next year.
US President Joe Biden on Friday (local time) declared that an emergency exists in Kentucky after it was struck by several tornadoes.
He ordered federal assistance to supplement Kentucky and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from severe storms, straight-line winds, flooding, and tornadoes. (ANI)