A 94-year-old veteran is reportedly among the dead after a nursing home collapsed during the midwest tornadoes on Friday (December 10th).
According to The Sun, Golden Hembry was a veteran of the Korean War. He notably survived COVID but was one of two people who were killed in the Monette Manor retirement home in Arkansas when one of the tornadoes came through the area.
It was revealed that the veteran’s brother, Jimmie, hurried into then using home following the storm. Golden was in the hallway when the home’s roof collapsed. Michael Hembry, the victim’s nephew, stated that his father said his uncle didn’t make it. “We said, ‘What?’ He said it again… and he went to crying.”
Hembry was notably one of the two Arkansas residents to die from the devastating impact of the tornadoes. Five others that are injured are from Monette Manor. It was also reported that the retirement home’s staff actually threw themselves onto residents’ bodies in order to keep them safe.
As previously reported, more than 30 tornadoes touchdown in a total of six states during the Friday night storms. The states affected were Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Tennessee. One of the storms reportedly impacted four states, Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, and Kentucky, on at least a 220-mile path. Nearly 90 people across five states are victims of the tornadoes. More than 100 people are still missing in Kentucky.
President Joe Biden has also issued emergency declarations for Kentucky, Tennessee, and Illinois. The President authorized the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate all disaster relief efforts. The President will also be going to Kentucky to survey the damage on Wednesday (December 15th).
Kentucky Resident Recalls Night of Tornadoes
On Tuesday (December 14th), Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear confirmed that 64 people died the night of the storms, which produced numerous tornadoes in the state. The elected official estimated that the state’s total death count may actually reach 80 people or more.
“This has been the most devastating tornado event in our state’s history,” Beshear stated over the weekend. “The level of devastation is unlike anything I have ever seen.
Among those who died was a 3-year-old toddler, who died when one of the tornadoes destroyed his family home in Mayfield, Kentucky. One of the neighbors, Angela Wheeler, spoke to WLWT5 about seeing the child’s family screaming for help from inside their leveled home. She also explains that while her home did not collapse, it did twist off its foundation. It trapped her and her family in the basement until they eventually escaped through one of the windows.
“Like everybody says,” Wheeler explained. “It was like a roar. And it shifted the house where we were at and almost made us fall into the basement.”