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Political Leaders Offer Prayers, Ask for Help After Tornadoes Devastate Kentucky

A car sits in the debris caused by a tornado in Bowling Green, Ky., Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Clubb)
A car sits in the debris caused by a tornado in Bowling Green, Ky., Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Clubb)

An outpouring of prayers have been shared on social media as recovery efforts continue following devastating tornadoes that destroyed homes and businesses in multiple counties across western and central Kentucky on Friday.

Gov. Andy Beshear described the devastation as "the most significant tornado event in Kentucky's history" after declaring a state of emergency Saturday morning, The Advocate-Messenger reports.

"Remember, each of these lives are children of God, irreplaceable to their families and their communities," Beshear said. "We will make it through this. We will rebuild. We are strong, resilient people."

Dozens of national leaders offered prayers, encouragement, and help. 

"I am praying for the lives lost and communities impacted by the tornado devastation throughout the Commonwealth," U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, said in a statement. "Thank you to the first responders and the National Guard for their brave efforts amid this tragedy."

"Our hearts are broken for all those suffering from last night's terrible storms," wrote Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky in a tweet. "I and my team will do all we can to assist local and state officials as they lead the immediate response, and will aggressively help families, businesses, and officials access recovery resources."

"Our first responders and law enforcement are showing incredible bravery and determination as they confront the devastation," shared Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron. "As we learn more about the damage and loss from the storms, we continue to wrap these Kentuckians in our prayers."

Kentucky Treasurer Allison Ball urged everyone to pray for the dozens of residents who are still missing.

"I am heartbroken to see the terrifying, once in a generation destruction in Mayfield, Western KY & all the areas hit. @AsaJamesSwan & I are praying for the families who lost their loved ones & their homes in this tragic event. We're praying for miracles for the unaccounted for."

"Absolutely catastrophic damage in Mayfield. Be in prayer for everyone here," tweeted Kentucky State Senator Whitney Westerfield.

In a letter sent to President Joe Biden, Governor Beshear stressed the need for disaster relief and emergency assistance.

"I request that you declare an emergency disaster for the Commonwealth of Kentucky in response to a severe weather system that produced numerous tornadoes," the letter reads. "At this point, at least 17 Kentucky counties have experienced tornadic activity and debris fields. The event is ongoing."

And he asked for specific help: "Kentucky is in need of federal assistance to respond to this event. Power outages are widespread. At this time, it is apparent there is a need for emergency generators to power critical facilities."

Biden announced Saturday afternoon that an emergency exists in Kentucky and that federal assistance is forthcoming.

Please continue to pray for those affected by the storms as relief efforts are ongoing.

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