Henry Winkler is one of the thousands of people offering their support and condolences to those affected by the deadly tornadoes that hit the Midwest overnight. The death toll continues to rise as emergency crews push deeper into storm-ravaged areas.
“To all of you, whose lives were torn apart, we are thinking of and praying for you and yours,” The Happy Days actor wrote.
Henry Winkler was replying to a news report on the carnage.
Tornadoes touched down in multiple states late Friday night and early Saturday morning, reports said. They unearthed homes and shattered people’s lives across Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, and Tennessee.
The largest damage happened in Kentucky. Rescue workers confirmed 70 dead Saturday afternoon, and Gov. Andy Beshear says it could go as high as 100. The twister traveled more than 200 miles across the Bluegrass State and leveled entire towns.
“This has been the most devastating tornado event in our state’s history … The level of devastation is unlike anything I have ever seen,” Beshear told reporters.
The roof of a candle factory collapsed in Mayfield with 110 people trapped inside. Kyana Parsons-Perez posted a Facebook Live video from inside the factory as workers cried and prayed for help. She told TODAY show hosts that the scene was unimaginable. She decided to post the video after calling 911 to capture the scope of the devastation.
The roof on an Amazon warehouse collapsed during the storm in Illinois. It pinned nearly 100 employees inside. It killed two injured dozens, fire responders reported Saturday afternoon. Though firefighters were removing rubble from the site on Saturday afternoon to search for missing workers.
President Joe Biden Pledges Federal Help in Wake of Tornadoes
A spokesperson for the White House said President Joe Biden is sending federal help to assist in the recovery and cleanup efforts after the tornadoes.
“The president has directed that federal resources be surged immediately to the locations where there is the greatest need to alleviate suffering from the devastating consequences of these storms,” the White House said. “Because damage assessments are ongoing, further briefings will be provided to the president in the course of the day.”
Biden hasn’t addressed the nation yet, but he did wrote on Twitter that he’s working with governors and monitoring the situation with FEMA. He called the fallout an “unimaginable tragedy.”
“To lose a loved one in a storm like this is an unimaginable tragedy,” Biden tweeted. “We’re working with governors to ensure they have what they need as the search for survivors and damage assessments continue.”
Hundreds of thousands of people are still without power. Governors in Arkansas, Tennessee, and Missouri said they’re working with emergency managers to return service as soon as possible.