About 26,000 homes and businesses were without electricity across the US state of Kentucky as residents faced gas and water outages after infrastructure was damaged.
Residents of a Kentucky town devastated by a tornado could be without heat, water and electricity in chilly temperatures for a long time, the mayor has warned.
US officials are struggling to restore services to the town on Monday after a swarm of twisters levelled neighbourhoods and killed dozens of people in five states.
“This is a tough morning ... but it’s ok, we’re still going to be all right,” Mayfield Mayor Kathy Stewart O’Nan said on ”CBS Mornings."
Across the state, about 26,000 customers were without electricity, according to poweroutage.us, including an estimated 60 percent of those in Graves County where Mayfield is.
They faced highs in the 50s and a low below freezing on Monday without any utilities.
“Our infrastructure is so damaged. We have no running water. Our water tower was lost. Our wastewater management was lost, and there’s no natural gas to the city. So we have nothing to rely on there,” O'Nan told CBS.
“So that is purely survival at this point for so many of our people.”
Thousands of homes gone
At least 64 people died in the state, Governor Andy Beshear said on Monday. There were at least another 14 deaths in Illinois, Tennessee, Arkansas and Missouri.
"It may be weeks before we have counts on both deaths and levels of destruction," Beshear told reporters.
Authorities are still trying to determine the total number of dead, and the storms made door-to-door searches impossible in some places. “There are no doors,” said Beshear. “We’re going to have over 1,000 homes that are gone, just gone,” he said.
In the hard-hit small town of Mayfield, the tornado destroyed a candle factory but also the police and fire stations. Homes were flattened or missing roofs, giant trees uprooted and street signs mangled.
Rescue workers resumed combing through debris on Monday in the scant hope of finding more survivors from a battery of deadly tornadoes that tore through six states.
President Joe Biden on Sunday declared a major federal disaster in Kentucky, paving the way for additional federal aid, the White House said.
While Kentucky was hardest hit, six workers were killed at an Amazon.com Inc warehouse in Illinois after the plant buckled under the force of the tornado, including one cargo driver who died in the bathroom, where many workers said they had been directed to shelter.