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News for January 17, 2022

Costliest Tornado Event in the US Leaves States Devastated

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Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear at a Monday press conference said that the verified death toll in the state was now 74 after a historic tornado outbreak, with a minimum of 109 people not being identified across the state.

“We expect that this death toll will continue to grow,” Beshear said. The governor noted that the actual number of missing persons is likely to be “way more” than the amount he stated and the search for those missing is underway.

The number of fatalities of the historic tornado outbreak in Illinois, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Missouri was at 14, according to a report, making the total number of deaths from the event 88 across five states.

Thirty-four tornadoes were confirmed across eight states during the weekend’s outbreak and seven of them were classified as EF-3 strength, according to the National Weather Service. One of the confirmed tornadoes was estimated to have a 227-mile-long path of destruction, spanning four states, including 200 miles of destruction occurring in Kentucky.

According to a report, the surveying is still in progress and will continue through the remainder of the week. It is likely to be remembered as among the most devastating and deadliest tornadoes that have occurred in United States’ history.

In terms of economics, the event is currently regarded as the costliest tornado-related event to occur in U.S. history, as AccuWeather Founder and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Joel N. Myers predicted that the storms are expected to cost approximately $18 billion for total damages and economic loss.

The total amount of losses and damage the affected states include damage to businesses and homes including their contents, cars, wages and job losses, infrastructure damages, auxiliary loss to businesses, and school closings.

These estimates also take into account the cost of power interruptions to people and businesses and economic losses caused by the closing of roads, disruptions to transportation, evacuations, as well as the extraordinary government expenses for cleanup and rescue efforts.

As of Tuesday, nearly 25,000 residents in west Kentucky were without power as per PowerOutage.US. Graves County, the county in which Mayfield lies, is responsible for a majority of the outages. Along with the outages, over 10,000 businesses and homes have no water, while another 17,000 are in boil-water advisory, said Michael Dossett, director of Kentucky Division of Emergency Management.

Dossett said efforts are already in progress to begin rebuilding after the devastating event. Officials were drafting an action plan for the future but warned people to be aware that “this doesn’t happen overnight.”

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