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A Week After The Deadly Tornadoes, This Is How Kentucky Is Recovering

Multiple tornadoes touched down in several states last Friday, causing widespread destruction and leaving scores of people dead and injured.

Posted on December 17, 2021, at 4:08 p.m. ET

Nearly a week after several states were hit by a series of tornadoes, the level of destruction, which has been most severe in Kentucky, is still being assessed. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said that 3,280 people are still without power almost seven days later, mostly in the town of Mayfield. Hundreds of homes and buildings were destroyed in the storm, and at least 77 people in the state have died. We looked at some photos that show how the area is recovering after the devastation.

A movie theater with the screen ripped off to show destruction and houses
Chandan Khanna / AFP via Getty Images

The Legion Theatre lies destroyed in Mayfield, Kentucky, on Dec. 16, 2021, six days after tornadoes hit the area.

A man carries boards past a destroyed house and pile of bricks after the tornado
Chandan Khanna / AFP via Getty Images

Matthew Harris clears debris outside his destroyed house in Mayfield, Kentucky, on Dec. 16, 2021, six days after tornadoes hit the area.

A woman holds a toddler next to a building that has free food spray painted outside of it
Scott Olson / Getty Images

Volunteers pass out hot food outside of Redemption City to those in need as the recovery continues from last week's tornado on Dec. 16, 2021, in Dawson Springs, Kentucky.

A man with a broom takes a photo on a pile of bricks that says that god is good beaten but not defeated
Mark Humphrey / AP

Rick Vincent of Newaygo, Michigan, reads a sign placed on a pile of building rubble as he stops work at the end of the day on Dec. 12, 2021, in Mayfield, Kentucky. Vincent, a retired teacher, has come to Mayfield on his own to volunteer to help in the cleanup effort after tornadoes and severe weather caused catastrophic damage across several states, killing dozens of people.

A man sits in the doorway of a destroyed home with signs that read tvs and ids already stolen so is the vcr you can have the nikes
Gerald Herbert / AP

David Capps sits in the doorway of his destroyed home in Dawson Springs, Kentucky, on Dec. 15, 2021, in the aftermath of tornadoes that tore through the region. He says looters have already taken possessions and used his identity to apply for FEMA funds.

A man pushes a home depot cart full of food through a relief supple stop in kentucky
Scott Olson / Getty Images

Relief supplies are distributed at the Dawson Springs High School in Dawson Springs, Kentucky, on Dec. 16, 2021. The school has been turned into a donation distribution center, distributing food, clothes, medicine, children's toys, and other supplies to people affected by last week's tornado.

Four women pick up baskets, boxes, and merry christmas decorations
Gerald Herbert / AP

Volunteers, mostly from the Mayfield Consumer Products factory, help salvage possessions from the destroyed home of Martha Thomas in the aftermath of tornadoes that tore through the region several days earlier.

A woman hugs another woman at a vigil outside at night in kentucky
Gerald Herbert / AP

Jessaundra Jackson and Debbie Johnston, both employees of Mayfield Consumer Products in Mayfield, Kentucky, hug at the conclusion of a candlelight vigil in the aftermath of tornadoes that tore through the region several days earlier.

Three women and one man prepare food to distribute to the needy in kentucky, a pile of clothing is behind them
Scott Olson / Getty Images

Volunteers prepare food at Redemption City to distribute to those in need as the recovery continues from last week's tornado on Dec. 16, 2021, in Dawson Springs, Kentucky.

A young boy and his mother with two candles during a vigil, people behind them
Gerald Herbert / AP

A young boy holds a candle during a vigil in the aftermath of tornadoes that tore through the region several days earlier in Mayfield, Kentucky, on Dec. 14, 2021.

A group of people helping to pass items over debris at a destroyed house
Mark Humphrey / AP

People help retrieve items from a destroyed home on Dec. 11, 2021, in Mayfield, Kentucky.

A woman passes a box of belongings over to a flat area over at her destroyed home
Anadolu Agency / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Bonnie Moxley picks up her belongings from her damaged house after devastating tornadoes in Earlington, Kentucky.

A man and woman in safety vests outside a salvation army emergency disaster truck distributing food
Chandan Khanna / AFP via Getty Images

Director of Divisional Emergency Response of the Salvation Army William Trueblood (left) distributes food outside the Cayce United Methodist Church in Cayce, Kentucky, on Dec. 15, 2021, five days after tornadoes hit the area.

Two people load beer out from a cooler in a destroyed liquor store
Chandan Khanna / AFP via Getty Images

Manoj Patel and his wife recover goods from their destroyed liquor store in Mayfield, Kentucky, on Dec. 16, 2021, six days after tornadoes hit the area.

Workers on top and below a barn try to repair it, all wearing denim and Amish hats
Chandan Khanna / AFP via Getty Images

Members of the Amish community repair a destroyed barn in Fulgham, Kentucky, on Dec. 15, 2021, five days after tornadoes hit the area.

An aerial view of a destroyed town in kentucky
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

An aerial view of damaged houses after devastating tornadoes in Bowling Green, Kentucky, on Dec. 15, 2021.

A damaged courthouse with the roof missing in parts, the flag down, and flowers and wreaths along the fence
Anadolu Agency / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A general view of the damaged courthouse as people left flowers for victims of a deadly tornado in Mayfield, Kentucky, on Dec. 15, 2021.




A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.