(LEX 18) — According to the National Weather Service of Paducah, Kentucky, the preliminary rating of the western Kentucky tornado is EF4.
Thank you for your patience through the survey process of this historic tornado event that impacted Western Kentucky Friday night. The portion of the long-track tornado from Fulton County to Muhlenberg County in Western Kentucky will be given a preliminary damage rating of EF4. pic.twitter.com/N5hM3aEmKb
— NWS Paducah, KY (@NWSPaducah) December 15, 2021
The tornado could still be upgraded to a rating of EF5 if new damage warrants it.
Gov. Andy Beshear and President Joe Biden surveyed storm damage Wednesday, with Biden saying the federal government will do everything it can to help the communities rebuild.
"You're going to heal, we're going to recover, we're going to rebuild and you're going to be stronger than you were before," Biden said. "We're going to build back better than it was."
Beshear confirmed 74 deaths across the state, and officials believe there are more than 100 Kentuckians still unaccounted for. Twelve of those killed in the storm were children, and eight of the dead were unidentified or next of kin had not been notified.
The National Weather Service in Louisville said survey teams confirmed EF3 tornado damage in Bowling Green, Taylor County and Logan County. At least EF1 damage was also found in Green and Spencer County. Additional surveys will continue throughout the week.
The National Weather Service said several midwest states are also projected to see severe weather Wednesday. The agency issued two "never-before-seen outlooks" for dangerous weather in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin.