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Gov. Beshear Provides Update on Storm Response, Encourages Kentuckians to Donate Blood in Wake of Disaster

Bill Stephens

December 17th, 2021

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​​​​​​​Governor, Lieutenant Governor donate during blood drive at state Capitol

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 17, 2021) – Today, before donating blood at the American Red Cross Kentuckians for Kentuckians blood drive in the rotunda of the state Capitol, Gov. Andy Beshear provided an update on the state’s response to last weekend’s quad-state tornado outbreak.

“As we sit here almost one week to the day after the worst tornado disaster the state has ever seen, we are digging out,” said Gov. Beshear. “Yes, we are down; yes, we are hurting; but we are not defeated and we are not broken. Together, we will dig out; together, we will clean up; and together, we will rebuild both structures and lives.”

During the event, the Governor encouraged Kentuckians to visit redcrossblood.org or to find a blood drive or donation location near them and to donate blood to help Western Kentuckians in need.

Other key updates provided:

  • The death toll from the storms now stands at 77. Two new deaths have been confirmed, one in Lyon County and one in Warren County.
  • There is now only one person still reported missing statewide, in Hopkins County.
  • More than 1,300 state workers are onsite in Western Kentucky, including:
    • 640 National Guard members;
    • More than 600 employees of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet;
    • 100 Kentucky State Police troopers and personnel; and
    • More than 20 individuals from the Division of Forestry.
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will have approximately 700 personnel on the ground this week.
  • The mission of the Kentucky National Guard is shifting from search-and-rescue/recovery to one of law enforcement augmentation to prevent looting.
  • The Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund has so far received $18.39 million.
  • Kentucky state parks continue to lodge more than 600 displaced Kentuckians. Nearly all seven state parks are at capacity.

Unrelated to the storms, Gov. Beshear mentioned that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is advising people that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are preferred over Johnson & Johnson, after the agency reported that the rate of a rare but serious blood-clotting condition was higher than previously detected.

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