Weather Alert

Satellite images show path of destruction from deadly tornado outbreak

▶ Watch Video: More than 100 feared dead as tornadoes ravage central U.S.

Washington — Satellite photos provided by the firm Maxar that were taken before and after tornadoes tore through six states show the extent of the damage caused by the deadly storms, including at an Amazon warehouse in Illinois where at least six people died.

Rescuers on Sunday are set to continue combing through the wreckage left by the outbreak of storms, which left at least 25 dead as of Sunday morning. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear estimated the death toll would rise to exceed 75 people. 

The tornadoes barreled through at least six states Friday night — Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee — with extensive damage in Kentucky. In addition to hitting the Amazon facility and candle factory, a tornado also hit a nursing home in Monette, Arkansas, killing one.

In Edwardsville, Illinois, the twister swept across the east side of one of the Amazon facility’s buildings, reducing it to rubble. The first photo below was taken in September, and the second was taken on Saturday:

Satellite photos provided by Maxar show an Amazon warehouse in Illinois, taken on September 24, 2021, and December 11, 2021.

Satellite image ©2021 Maxar Technologies via AP

Other photos show the devastation in Mayfield, Kentucky, one of the communities hardest hit by the storm. The first photo was taken in 2017, and the second shows the same area on Saturday:

Satellite photos provided by Maxar show an overview of downtown Mayfield, Kentucky, on January 28, 2017, and December 11, 2021.

Satellite image ©2021 Maxar Technologies via AP

A second set of photos from Mayfield show the devastation to homes. The first image was taken in January 2017, and the second shows the same homes Saturday, some of which were leveled:

Satellite photo provided by Maxar shows homes and buildings in Mayfield, Kentucky, on January 28, 2017, and December 11, 2021.

Satellite image ©2021 Maxar Technologies via AP

A candle factory in Mayfield was also completely leveled by the twister. More than 100 employees were working at the site when the storms hit. Forty were rescued on Saturday:

Satellite photos provided by Maxar show the Mayfield Consumer Products candle factory and nearby buildings, in Mayfield, Kentucky, on January 28, 2017, and December 11, 2021.

Satellite image ©2021 Maxar Technologies via AP

Satellite photos from Maxar show the Monette Manor Nursing Home and nearby houses, with the top image taken in February and the bottom photo taken Saturday:

Satellite photos provided by Maxar show an overview of Monette Manor Nursing Home and other homes in Monette, Arkansas, on February 22, 2021, and December 11, 2021.

Satellite image ©2021 Maxar Technologies via AP

President Biden on Saturday signed an emergency declaration for Kentucky and pledged his administration would surge all necessary resources to states that sustained damage. 

“This is likely to be one of the largest tornado outbreaks in our history,” the president said in remarks from Delaware.

Mr. Biden said he has spoken to the governors of the affected states, and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is also set to travel to Kentucky to assess the storm damage.



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