Late Friday, extreme weather wreaked havoc across many states, resulting in the deaths of six people when a storm system ripped through a candle business in Kentucky.
The storm system also hit an Amazon site in Illinois and an Arkansas care home. Hundreds more people could be killed, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear stated.
When the storm hit the business in Mayfield, Kentucky, Beshear stated roughly 110 individuals were inside. “We believe the death toll from this catastrophe will reach 50 Kentuckians, and will most likely reach 70 to 100,” he stated at a press conference on Saturday.
“It’s really difficult, terribly difficult, and we’re grieving for each of those families.” Kyana Parsons-Perez, a factory worker, was buried for at least two hours beneath five feet (approximately 1.5 meters) of rubble before being rescued.
Lots of area of Kentucky hit with Tornados . They caught this picture from a lake house down at Ky / Barkley Lake as it passed over the lakes . Said it was a F4 , Mayfield Ky Destroyed. Prayers sent 🙏 pic.twitter.com/BAsLzhXyWJ
— Kaoru OBryan Fishing (@kyprobassangler) December 11, 2021
She described it as “simply the most horrific” occurrence she ever witnessed during an interview with the TODAY Show. “I honestly didn’t feel I was going to survive.”
The structure’s lights flickered before the first tornado hit. She felt a surge of wind and her ears began to pop, followed by a bang. “It all came crashing down on us.” Screams erupted, and she overheard Hispanic employees praying in Spanish.
The Unlikely Heroes
Inmates from the neighboring Graves County Jail were among those who assisted in the evacuation of the stranded workers, she claimed.
“They might have taken that opportunity to flee or do something else, but they didn’t. They were there to assist us,” she explained.
According to Police Commander Mike Fillback, at least one employee died at an Amazon plant in Edwardsville, Illinois on Saturday. The structure’s ceiling was torn off, and a wall the size of a football pitch fell.
Fillback said two individuals at the institution were flown to hospitals in St. Louis. The chief stated he was unaware of the severity of their injuries. St. Louis is roughly 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of Edwardsville.
My prayers are with the affected families as daylight breaks and the full extent of the havoc caused by this series of tornados is realized.https://t.co/52TC76U4Le
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) December 11, 2021
Straight-line winds or a tornado caused the problem. The Weather Network office near St. Louis recorded “radar-confirmed tornadoes” in the Edwardsville region all around the site of the incident.
A bus was used to transport about 30 persons from the premises to a police station in neighboring Pontoon Beach for assessment. Rescuers were still combing through the rubble on Saturday morning.
Fillback estimates the process will take many hours. To help shift the debris, excavators and backhoes were hauled in. According to Belleville Media, the Amazon logistics center in Edwardsville debuted in 2016 with warehouses totaling 1.5 million sq. ft.
Items are stored in facilities until they are delivered to mail-order clients.
“For now, our main focus is the security and well-being of our workers and partners,” Amazon representative Richard Rocha said in a formal report Friday night. “We’re reviewing the issue and will provide updates as they become available.”