A RESIDENT of Monette Manor, the Arkansas retirement home damaged by tornadoes that hit the midwest late last week, was killed when the roof of his building caved in.
Golden Hembry, 94, was a veteran of the Korean war, and had survived Covid-19, but was one of two to die in Arkansas from the severe tornado event.
Golden's brother Jimmie Hembry, 82, hurried to the nursing home in the aftermath of the storm.
But Golden, who had been in the hallway when the roof collapsed, had not survived. Michael Hembry, the victim's nephew, told local station CBS42 that Jimmie returned home and recounted the news.
“He come back and he said, ’Golden didn’t make it,'” Michael told the outlet.
“We said ‘What?’ He said it again … and he went to crying.”
Golden Hembry was one of two Arkansas residents to die in the storm.
Five others were injured at Monette Manor, where staff reportedly threw themselves over residents' bodies to keep them safe.
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The other Arkansas fatality reportedly occurred at a dollar store in Leachville, but the identity of the victim has not been released.
The current death toll from the tornadoes is 90 deaths counted across five states, with six dead after an Amazon warehouse collapse in Illinois, four dead in Tennessee, and four in Missouri.
Read our tornado tracker live blog for the very latest news and updates…
In Kentucky, the death toll is rising rapidly.
At a press conference this morning, Governor Andy Beshear confirmed 64 dead, but revised that number later in the day.
The state has 74 deaths, and 105 people unaccounted for.
Beshear estimates the state's total death count could reach 80 people or higher.
A two-month-old girl, Oaklynn Koon, died Monday after she sustained severe injuries in the storm.
Also among those killed is a three-year-old toddler who died when a tornado destroyed his family home in Mayfield, Kentucky, large parts of which have been flattened.
Neighbor Angela Wheeler described how she saw the boy’s family screaming for help from their leveled home.
She told WLWT5 her own home did not collapse, but twisted off its foundation, trapping the family in the basement before they eventually escaped through a window.
“Like everybody says, it was like a roar and it shifted the house where we were at and almost made us fall into the basement,” Wheeler said.
In Edwardsville, Illinois, an Amazon warehouse collapsed, killing six.
Larry Virden, 46, was one of the employees who died.
Cherie Jones, the Navy veteran’s girlfriend of 13 years, told the New York Post: “I got text messages from him. He always tells me when he is filling up the Amazon truck when he is getting ready to go back… I was like ‘OK I love you’.
“He’s like ‘well Amazon won’t let me leave until after the storm blows over.”
The message was sent around 16 minutes before the storm touched down.
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