The Midwest was absolutely devastated on Friday evening as supercell thunderstorms spawned multiple, powerful tornadoes across a number of states, including Kentucky, where the complete destruction essentially of entire towns looked like scenes from a blockbuster movie.
According to the Washington Examiner, upon the request of Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D), President Joe Biden approved a federal emergency declaration request for the particularly hard-hit state.
The state will now have the full resources available from the federal government, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to assist with post-storm issues that can last for months, or even years, especially in severe cases such as this one.
Gov. Beshear had requested the federal assistance shortly after declaring a state of emergency on Friday evening after the storms wreaked havoc.
The White House released the official announcement of Biden’s actions, writing in a statement, “Today, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. declared that an emergency exists in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”
It added: “He ordered Federal assistance to supplement Commonwealth and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from severe storms, straight-line winds, flooding, and tornadoes beginning on December 10, 2021, and continuing.”
FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell also released a statement on the unfolding situation.
“I just spoke with Gov. Beshear to ensure they have all federal resources necessary as FEMA continues search and rescue efforts,” she tweeted Saturday.
As The New York Times pointed out in a tweet showing the extensive and unprecedented damage from the storm system, it noted that Mayfield, Kentucky seemed to take the brunt of the hit.
Some of the worst destruction from the Kentucky tornado was centered in Mayfield, a town of nearly 10,000 people. At least 110 people were huddled inside a candle factory in the area when a tornado ripped through. https://t.co/1VRJZXLBWw pic.twitter.com/Mh3i3oEzZa
— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 11, 2021
Kelley Paul, the wife of Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R), issued a statement Saturday indicating that the senator was actively working to get resources and help to those in need in his home state.
“Rand and I are praying for everyone here in Bowling Green and across Kentucky suffering from last night’s tornado. Rand and his team are working to get help to all in need. Thanks to everyone who has sent us your prayers and support. We will get through this together,” she tweeted.