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NWS: Preliminary rating for western Kentucky tornado is EF4

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Posted at 6:14 PM, Dec 15, 2021

(LEX 18) — According to the National Weather Service of Paducah, Kentucky, the preliminary rating of the western Kentucky tornado is EF4.

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.

RELATED: NWS forecasts more severe storms, tornado threats Wednesday
RELATED: President Biden promises to help Kentucky communities rebuild following devastating tornadoes