FRANKFORT, Ky. — The onslaught of late-night tornadoes that tore through western Kentucky and leveled entire towns now holds the title of deadliest in state history.
What You Need To Know
- 77 deaths have been confirmed in the wake of last week's tornado outbreak, making it the deadliest in Kentucky history
- The previous record was set in 1890 when 76 people were killed
- Kentucky's governor said only one person is still missing statewide
- The official Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief fund has received over $18 million in donations
On Friday, Gov. Andy Beshear confirmed that the death toll rose to 77, making December's outbreak the deadliest tornado event on record. Beshear also said that only one person is still reported missing across the state.
Almost one week removed from the devastating tornadoes, Beshear said Kentucky is neither defeated nor broken.
"To me this is deeply personal, he said. "These are our people. They have been harmed by things to likes of which we have never seen."
The record fatalities are a result of a new confirmed death in Lyon County, one additional death reported in Warren County and three deaths in Hopkins County that had not yet been confirmed by the coroner.
Just one person was still missing as of Friday afternoon, which Beshear described as a "miracle" after seeing the depth of destruction in areas like Dawson Springs.
"If you’ve walked through Dawson Spring, the fact that those additional folks were found primarily alive is a miracle and something we are grateful for," Beshear said.
Over 1,300 individuals are helping with recovery between National Guard and state workers. 640 National Guard members, 100 state police officers and over 600 transportation officials are helping survivors in many facets. Beshear said the number of FEMA officials is swelling to around 700.
"To go in less than a week from pulling people out of the rubble to seeing FEMA people walking up to your home... We have received unprecedented help," Beshear said Friday.
The official Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief fund has received over $18 million in donations and is still growing.