United States President Joe Biden speaks about the deadly tornadoes that struck Kentucky on December 11, 2021 in Wilmington, Delaware.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters
president Joe Biden said his government stood by and ready to do “whatever it takes” after several dozen people were killed in a swarm of powerful tornadoes and storms that swept across six states from Friday night.
“The federal government will do everything it can to help,” Biden said during a press conference on Saturday from Wilmington, Delaware.
“I promise you whatever is needed, whatever is needed, the federal government will find a way to deliver it,” added Biden.
Irene Noltner comforts Jody O’Neill in front of the Lighthouse, a women’s and children’s home that was destroyed by a tornado on December 11, 2021, along with much of downtown Mayfield, Kentucky, USA.
Matt stone | USA Today | Reuters
Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, and Tennessee were hit by more than 30 tornadoes. Biden said FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is on site in each of the six states to assess the damage.
At least 70 people have died in Kentucky, and the number could climb to more than 100. Governor Andy Beshear said he believed the tornado will be the deadliest to ever hit the state. More than 180 National Guardsmen are stationed in areas in western Kentucky, the hardest-hit part of the state.
A woman exits a line of ambulances on the Mayfield Consumer Products Candle Factory property after it was devastated by a tornado on December 11, 2021 in Mayfield, Kentucky.
John Amis | AFP | Getty Images
“All government resources are used,” said Michael Dossett, director of emergency management for Kentucky, at a news conference.
The president approved the Kentucky state of emergency earlier in the day and added on Saturday afternoon that he was ready to approve proposals for the other states.
In Illinois there were at least two people after one Amazon Edwardsville warehouse collapsed.
Amazon truck cabs are seen in front of a damaged Amazon distribution center on December 11, 2021 in Edwardsville, Illinois. The distribution center was reportedly hit by a tornado on Friday evening.
Michael B. Thomas | Getty Images
Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said on Twitter that the company was “unhappy” about the deaths.
“As this situation continues to develop, I want our Edwardsville community to know that we are working closely with local officials and first responders to provide support. My deepest condolences go to the Amazon community and all concerned, ”he said.
At least three people were killed in the storms in Tennessee, said a spokesman for the state emergency management agency Associated Press. According to the New York Times, two people were fatally injured in Arkansas.
Before and after satellite imagery showing the destruction of tornadoes in Mayfield, Kentucky on December 11, 2021.
Courtesy: Maxar Technologies
“We’re going to get through this, and we’re going to get through this together,” said Biden. “The federal government will not go away.”
The officials continued to assess the extent of the damage throughout Saturday. Press reports and social media show destroyed buildings and fallen trees. According to reports compiled by PowerOutage.us, more than a hundred thousand customers are still without power.
One of the storms torn by four states, Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, and Kentucky, on a journey of at least 220 miles. The trail counts it among the longest tornadoes in US history if it stayed on the ground. The National Weather Service will conduct an official poll to determine if this is a single, ongoing tornado, NBC News reported.