KENTUCKY, USA — Friday, Governor Andy Beshear confirmed 77 Kentuckians and only one person, from Hopkins County, is reported as missing as a result of the deadly tornado outbreak in western Kentucky earlier this week.
Beshear also announced that the Western Kentucky Relief Fund has raised more than $18 million in donations for individuals and communities impacted by the severe weather.
The age range of those who died is 2 months to 98 years old, Beshear said on Thursday.
Of that number, more than a dozen of those killed were children.
After the body of Nyssa Brown was recovered, officials there say everyone has been accounted for in Bowling Green.
There are currently hundreds of National Guard members assisting with rescue and recovery efforts.
Beshear said on Thursday that a state government worker was pushed off the road and killed during the storm in Franklin County. The identity of that individual has not been released.
He ordered flags to half staff in honor of those lost and those suffering from this tornado. All state office buildings will lower flags to half staff for one week.
Federal help on the way
A state of emergency was declared before midnight Friday before the storm hit.
Biden signed a Federal Emergency Disaster Declaration on Sunday, which according to Beshear is the fastest we've ever seen. Last night, a Federal Declaration of Major Emergency was declared, again Beshear saying he thinks it is the fastest one has ever been issued.
FEMA is reportedly already on the ground helping families document losses and file claims. Right now, more than 1,800 families have already applied for assistance.
"I believe this is the most rapid response from the federal government in the history of the United States of America and we need it and we are really grateful for it," Beshear said.
There are multiple ways for people to register for assistance. You can call 1-800-631-3362 or visit their website.
Governor Beshear then announced that Kentucky has opened up its state parks for housing for impacted families.
Pennyrile is already full with over 100 adults and a lot of kids. Beshear asked for volunteers to help staff the state parks now housing tornado victims.
"It'll be things like washing dishes and washing clothes but we could really use the help," he said.
Here are other places that are in need of volunteers:
- Kentucky Dam Village
- Rough River Dam
- Lake Barkley State Parks
You can contact Andy Kasitz at 502-418-3581 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in volunteering.
Team WKY Relief Fund
The Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund has raised nearly $20 million so far with more than 66,000 donations.
"Help keeps pouring in from all over the country. Thank you to everyone we feel your love here in Kentucky." said Beshear.
He said the first expenditure from the fund would be $5,000 in burial expenses for each family that has lost a loved one.
If you'd like to donate, you can by clicking here.
Previous information from the Governor's noon briefing on Thursday:
- 138 hurt (This number includes people who went to the ER for their injuries)
- 600 KY National Guard helping
- 700 FEMA Agents helping on the ground---$550,000 already paid out.
- 3280 still without electricity
- $15.9 Million in tornado relief fund donations from around the country to the Western Kentucky relief fund.
There are 8 Kentucky counties with confirmed deaths:
- Graves County - 21
- Hopkins County - 17
- Muhlenberg County - 11
- Warren County - 15
- Caldwell County - 4
- Marshall County - 2
- Taylor County - 1
- Fulton County - 1
- Lyon County - 1
- Franklin County - 1