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Post-Tornado Restoration Efforts Underway in Kentucky

Credit: Unsplash

It’s been several days since a massive pod of tornadoes tore through multiple United States, with Kentucky in particular receiving the brunt of the storm’s force. The town of Mayfield was almost completely wiped off the map, and at time of writing, at least 74 deaths have confirmed with approximately 100 more still missing. Local authorities and rescue crews have begun to shift from rescue efforts to recovery efforts, including gleaning the precise scope of structural and utility damage.

Some parts of Kentucky were luckier than others. By Monday, roughly 10,000 electrical customers had their service successfully restored, though there are still about 18,500 outages around the state. This statistic, however, only accounts for communities that still have functioning electrical infrastructure. In Mayfield, the power grid has been damaged beyond recognition, and according to state emergency management director Michael Dossett, restoring power to the town could take as few as several weeks or as long as several months, depending on what’s left of the system.

“Being on the ground will take your breath away,” Dossett said of the damage in Mayfield. “It is simply indescribable in some places.”

President Joe Biden is scheduled to fly out to Kentucky today to speak with the victims of the storm and survey the damage. Biden will ensure “that we’re doing everything to deliver assistance as quickly as possible to impacted areas to support recovery efforts,” according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki. “He wants those on the ground to know the federal government is there to provide whatever support is needed for them.”

Over 500 members of the National Guard are still working to remove debris, recover remains, and direct local traffic.

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