Over this weekend, 88 people in Kentucky have died as a result of a tornado crossing through eight states in the Midwest and South US.
Gov. Andy Beshear said to reporters that the death toll figures are from emergency management officials. As such, the numbers could differ from what county coroners could be reporting.
The governor said the number will likely move because like the other eight states that this tornado hit, the towns it went through have flattened towns leaving people buried under rubble.
On top of the deaths in Kentucky, there are 109 residents that are unaccounted for. This process will take some time though as Beshear stated that there are only 95 National Guard troops that are doing fatality and missing person searches at the moment.
On the comment of those unaccounted residents, Beshear said:
"We hope that they don't find them. We hope someone connects to them and they're out there and we just don't know where they are yet, Maybe they don't have cell service."
Earlier he described what the damage looked like as well, stating that over 1,000 houses were obliterated and that one tornado was able to travel roughly 200 miles. That tornado didn't just tear off a roof of a building or house, it exploded houses which is on-trend for what tornadoes have been doing lately in Kentucky.
More Donations Are Needed
No doubt these tornadoes have affected a lot of people in those areas - Kentucky being the hardest hit. As such, instead of praying for people's safety, it's important to keep taking other actions as well.
In two days alone, $4 million was donated to the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund which is amazing. It'll allow some breathing room for the people which is what they need after what happened.
The first expenditure the governor is planning to do is provide $5,000 for each family for burial expenses who lost loved ones to the storm. The government has also asked funeral homes to not charge storm victims beyond that point.
There is no formal application process as the state plans to reach out to people directly.
There are still other ways that you can help too. Aside from donating more to the Relief Fund, Sen. Whitney Westerfield has said blood donations could be offered too. She reinforced that with the following comment:
"I'd encourage you, (if) you have spare room this Christmas, give to western Kentucky."
More Severe Weather Could Come This Week
While residents of Kentucky are still recovering and officials are focusing on the immediate needs of the victims, forecasters are still keeping an eye on the region as more severe weather could hit the area.
It's too early to call for that, meteorologists are still predicting that we'll see the same type of weather pattern this week. This could include warming temperatures over the weekday followed by the chance of severe weather over the weekend.