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Deadly storm demolishes Kentucky towns

Church members whose buildings were damaged in tornadoes participate in an outdoor worship service on Sunday. Associated Press/Photo by Mark Humphrey

Deadly storm demolishes Kentucky towns

Some residents of Mayfield, Ky., continued to worship and sing Christmas carols on Sunday amid tragedy and mourning. On Friday night, a monstrous tornado carved a violent, 200-mile path through Kentucky. It was part of an unusual December storm system that ripped across several states, derailing a train and crushing a candle factory, a nursing home, and an Amazon warehouse.

How many people were killed? In Mayfield, eight people died and eight remained missing at the candle factory, where 110 people were working the night of the storm. Officials initially feared the death toll would be higher, but a factory spokesman said Sunday that many workers were able to take shelter during the tornado and return home afterward. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said 1,000 homes in the state were “gone, just gone.” Deaths have also been reported in Tennessee, Illinois, Arkansas, and Missouri, including six people who died in an Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, Ill.

Dig deeper: From the WORLD archives, read Angela Lu Fulton’s report on how churches responded to a devastating tornado in Joplin, Mo.

Kent Covington

Kent is a reporter and news anchor for WORLD Radio. He spent nearly two decades in Christian and news/talk radio before joining WORLD in 2012. He resides in Atlanta, Ga.


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