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Virginia Red Cross volunteers answered the call after deadly Kentucky tornadoes

Posted at 4:46 PM, Dec 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-18 08:55:19-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Kentucky’s death toll from a line of tornadoes that tore through the state has increased to 77.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said Friday that the most recent death was recorded in Lyon County.

As of Friday, the state was down to just one missing person, in Hopkins County.

Beshear said more than 1,300 state workers and National Guard members have been mobilized to areas hit by the storms.

"There's a lot of incredible amount of trees down, there's a lot of damage," Red Cross of Virginia volunteer Ned Worman said.

The Henrico man was dispatched to Bowling Green, Kentucky as part of the Red Cross recovery response to last week's deadly tornadoes.

"You look to the left and the house, the roof on the left is gone. And you look to the right, just on the other side of the street and there's no damage whatsoever," he said.

Worman has spent time assessing the damage in that town and finding those in need of assistance.

Fellow Red Cross volunteer Chris Payne said those they've met are dealing with things as best they can.

"Everybody's gone through COVID. And now, right before Christmas and the New Year, these people just aren't getting the break," Payne said.

Worman said the pair would next help deliver meals to those that need them.

"We're going to go to a restaurant, we're going to pick up 200 servings of a hot meal," he said.

The Red Cross and its partner World Central Kitchen have served more than 10,000 meals to storm victims. They've also handed out over 6,000 relief items. More than 500 people remain in their shelters.

Cally Edwards, a national spokesperson who has been helping in Mayfield, Kentucky, praised the work of not only the Red Cross, but also other non-profits that have come to help.

"It really takes a village when it comes to these responses for so many people in organizations to come together," she said. "It's no job that one organization can hold alone. And so it's really just been impactful."

Worman said it was good to see that when the call goes out, people from all over the U.S. respond.

"To help out in places where they've never been, and help people that they don't know. It's just a wonderful thing to do," he said.

If you'd like to help the Red Cross click here to make a donation. The organization is also asking for blood donations.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.