Beshear: No additional deaths confirmed as of Tuesday afternoon
As of midday Tuesday, the official death toll from the storms and tornadoes that ripped through western Kentucky over the weekend remained unchanged at 74.
Gov. Andy Beshear said more than 100 people are still missing.
Those wishing to report missing loved ones can do so at His House Ministries at 1250 KY-303 in Mayfield, Ky. The phone number is 859-267-7775.
“The age range has gotten even harder. It ranges now from two months to 98 years of the Kentuckians that we have lost,” Beshear said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
According to Beshear, the official death toll by county is:
- 21 in Graves County
- 17 in Hopkins County
- 15 in Warren County
- 11 in Muhlenberg County
- 4 in Caldwell County
- 2 in Marshall County
- 1 in Franklin, Taylor, Fulton and Lyon Counties
Eight deceased individuals are unidentified or their names haven’t been released, Beshear said.
He said the owners of the candle factory in Mayfield said that all workers who were inside of the building when it collapsed have been accounted for. They said eight of the 110 people in the building at the time died.
“We are verifying that information,” Beshear said.
Beshear said that cadaver dogs have stopped indicating the presence of bodies among the factory’s debris.
He said Kentucky’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration will investigate the conditions at the factory, but that process could take several months.
Restoration before recovery
Beshear said restoration efforts continue through western Kentucky. Local, state and federal search, rescue and recovery efforts are underway and companies are trying to reconnect people to water and electricity.
“Utility companies (are) continuing to restore power and repair water outages. A boil water advisory remains in effect for several area counties,” Beshear said.
Kentucky Emergency Management director Michael Dossett said the state is currently in the restoration phase of the cleanup and that recovery will take much longer.
“Restoration is a temporary installation or something that gets customers back in service,” Dossett said. “Recovery is a very different animal.”
Dossett said it’s important to get people reconnected as quickly as possible now because of impending cold weather.