'I've got towns that are gone,' Kentucky Governor Beshear says

2 minute read

A general view of town hall after a devastating outbreak of tornadoes ripped through several U.S. states, in Mayfield, Kentucky, U.S., December 12, 2021. Picture taken with a drone. REUTERS/Cheney Orr

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

WASHINGTON, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said on Sunday that widespread damage is making rescue efforts a challenge in his state after tornadoes swept through the region two days ago.

"I've got towns that are gone," Beshear said on CNN's "State of the Union" program. "My dad's home town, Paxton, isn't standing. It is hard to describe."

The devastation goes on for a dozen blocks in some places and there are many people without power, he said. The state has a strong rescue effort in place, he said, but the damage is prohibitive and it will take time.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

"You think you can go door to door to check on people and see if they're OK - there are no doors. The question is, is somebody in the rubble of thousands upon thousands of structures?" he said. "It is devastating."

He said at least 56,000 homes were without power.

Beshear could not provide a number of people in his state who have been reported missing. He said in his family's home town, Dawson Springs, population 2,700, the list of unaccounted for ran to eight pages, single-spaced. "It's pretty bad," he said.

Deanne Criswell, administrator of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, told CNN rescue efforts are ongoing across the region and there is still hope to find survivors.

She and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas planned to head to the region on Sunday.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com
Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Will Dunham and Daniel Wallis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.