tragedy in the midwest
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) said Monday that the state's death toll following a deadly tornado outbreak over the weekend currently stands at a confirmed 64, though he believes that number will "undoubtedly" increase, CNN reports.
During a tearful press conference, Beshear said he thinks the total count will "certainly be above 70, maybe even 80." There are currently 105 Kentuckians unaccounted for, he added.
"Thousands of homes are damaged if not entirely destroyed. And it may be weeks before we have final counts on both deaths and levels of destruction," Beshear explained Monday. Of the dead, 18 are still unidentified, CNN writes.
The governor also assured those affected in Western Kentucky that "we're not going anywhere."
"We're going to be with you today, we're going to be with you tomorrow, and we're going to be there with you to rebuild. This is one state," he said.
President Biden is scheduled to visit areas impacted by the tornadoes on Wednesday, though he wants to ensure he's not complicating relief efforts in doing so.
In any event, Biden said his administration has "made clear to every governor" that the White House will get them "whatever they need" as "rapidly as we can."
A strong string of destructive tornadoes tore through at least six states between Friday night and Saturday morning, though the "epicenter of destruction" was in Western Kentucky. As of Monday morning, the windstorms had also killed at least four in Tennessee, two in Arkansas, two in Missouri, and at least six workers at an Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois.