Update (Sunday 0858 ET): Rescue workers continued for the second straight day, searching through the wreckage after a series of tornadoes ripped through six states on Friday night, including Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.
The death toll continues to rise. New figures via WaPo say about "100 people are feared to have been killed." This is up 30 from last night's 70. The counts are expected to increase today as search and rescue operations expand.
In a televised speech on Saturday afternoon in Delaware, President Biden said he would do "everything he can do to help" the six states affected by Friday's night tornado outbreak.
"This is likely to be one of the largest tornado outbreaks in our history," he said, adding that federal aid would be distributed to affected states.
One of the most devastated areas is in the city of Mayfield, located in southwestern Kentucky. NBC News' Shawn Reynolds tweeted before and after satellite images (via Maxar) of one neighborhood that was completely leveled.
* * *
Update (1812ET): Late Friday, deadly tornados touched down in at least six states -- Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, and Tennessee.
The most intense damage I have found in #Mayfield. The entire path in the town is less than 2% of the total path length. Homes with only slabs remaining. #Tornado #wxtwitter pic.twitter.com/nXxoxNBVhY— WxChasing- Brandon Clement (@bclemms) December 11, 2021
The worst devastation was in Kentucky, where 70 people were confirmed killed, and the death toll could jump to 100 in the coming hours, if not days.
WATCH: Viral video shows tornado that hit Sacramento, Kentucky - ABCpic.twitter.com/ln3MzUFND6— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) December 11, 2021
Gov. Andy Beshear of Kentucky said, "this has been the most devastating tornado event in our state's history."
On Saturday evening, President Biden said the disaster was "one of the largest tornado outbreaks in our history."
"It's a tragedy. And we still don't know how many lives are lost and the full extent of the damage," Biden said. He promised federal aid to the six states listed above that were affected by the severe storms.
NEW: Pres. Biden says he is "monitoring" the devastating tornadoes that impacted the midwest and south "very closely."— ABC News (@ABC) December 11, 2021
"This is likely one of the largest tornado outbreaks in our history." https://t.co/emO1xnf6pi pic.twitter.com/3nAArDV71C
It's only a matter of time before the Biden administration blames climate change.
* * *
Update (1040ET): Mayfield, Kentucky has woken up to absolute devastation across large swaths of the state following the major storm which has left, at the least, dozens dead and hundreds injured.
Devastating to wake up to this scene in your home state.— Andy Swan (@AndySwan) December 11, 2021
Many great people in Kentucky will need our help this holiday season.
For now, we pray for the families dealing with unthinkable loss, for @GovAndyBeshear team's leadership, and all responders.
Mayfield, KY at daybreak - drone.— AC 😷 (@ACinPhilly) December 11, 2021
The town has basically been flattened, no words.
Video: LiveStormsMedia#Mayfield #Kentucky #Tornado #tornadoemergency #severewx #SevereWeather #tornadoemergency #tornadooutbreak #longtracktornado pic.twitter.com/DBadxT9pSD
BREAKING: Kentucky Governor reports "mass casualties" after building collapse at a candle factory; says more than 50 people are likely deadpic.twitter.com/kRyLKcatNN— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) December 11, 2021
Tonight we are looking at potentially the first quad-state tornado in US history which has torn through Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee and now Kentucky. pic.twitter.com/FvAfwZWIGk— US StormWatch (@US_Stormwatch) December 11, 2021
* * *
The series of U.S. storms started early on Friday and are already blamed for multiple deaths and injuries across parts of the Midwest and South.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said at a news conference that it is going to be “some of the worst tornado damage that we’ve seen for a long time,” calling the weather event a “mass casualty” incident.
“We believe our death toll from this event will exceed 50 Kentuckians, probably end up closer to 70 to 100 lost lives,” Beshear said.
“There were about 110 people in [the factory] at the time that the tornado hit it,” he added.
Beshear also announced the deployment of about 180 guardsmen, including search and extraction, as the governor declared a state of emergency and requested President Joe Biden a federal emergency declaration.
Kentucky emergency management director Michael Dossett said at the same briefing that the storm appears to be the first quad-state tornado storm in the state’s history.
“This tornado event may surpass the one in 1974 … as one of the most deadliest in Kentucky’s history,” Dossett said, adding that this will be “one of the darkest days in the state’s history.”
The primary tornado was on the ground for 200-miles, Beshear said and would be the longest traveled of any tornado in the state for nearly 100 years.
Meanwhile, significant damage has also been reported in other parts of the U.S., including at an Amazon fulfillment center in Illinois, where a wall about the length of a football field collapsed, along with the roof above it. Tornadoes also ripped through Missouri, Arkansas, and Tennessee.
Emergency vehicles stage outside an Amazon fulfillment center after it was heavily damaged when a strong thunderstorm moved through the area, in Edwardsville, Ill., on Dec. 10, 2021. (Jeff Roberson/AP Photo)
At least 100 emergency vehicles descended upon the Amazon warehouse near Edwardsville, about 25 miles east of St. Louis. It wasn’t immediately clear how many people were hurt, but one person was flown by helicopter to a hospital.
#BREAKING— Jenna Rae (@journalismjenna) December 11, 2021
Law enforcement has confirmed several people are dead as a result of the #AmazonWarehouse collapse in Edwardsville, IL.
I’ll have live reports on @KMOV at 5 and 6 this morning.
Photo credit: St. Clair Co. EMA pic.twitter.com/vYnBLw7yqi
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker said in a statement that he has contacted the mayor in Edwardsville to request if they need any state resources.
Amazon spokesperson Richard Rocha said in a written statement on Friday that the company’s top priority now is “the safety and well-being of our employees and partners.”
“We’re assessing the situation and will share additional information when it’s available,” Rocha added.
The Amazon distribution center is partially collapsed after being hit by a tornado in Edwardsville, Ill., on Dec. 10, 2021.
Edwardsville Police Chief Mike Fillback said several people who were in the building were taken by bus to the police station in nearby Pontoon Beach for evaluation. By early Saturday, rescue crews were still sorting through the rubble to determine if anyone was trapped inside.
“Please be patient with us. Our fire personnel are doing everything they can to reunite everyone with their loved ones,” Fillback said on KMOV-TV.
Three storm-related deaths were confirmed in Tennessee, said Dean Flener, spokesman for the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency. Two of the deaths occurred in Lake County, and the third was in Obion County—both in the northwestern corner of the state.
A tornado struck the Monette Manor nursing home in Arkansas on Friday night, killing one person and trapping 20 people inside as the building collapsed, Craighead County Judge Marvin Day told The Associated Press.
Five people had serious injuries, and a few others had minor ones, he said. The nursing home has 86 beds.