How Many People Died in the Mayfield Tornado?

March 22, 2024

The scale of devastation from tornadoes tearing across the Midwest this weekend is hard to grasp. Homes and buildings were torn apart, and warehouses collapsed. Searchers combed through rubble in Kentucky and other states looking for survivors, but the full scope of destruction won’t come into focus until crews are finished.

Several hundred people remain homeless in western Kentucky, where homes are reduced to piles of rubble and trees are twisted by winds that blew them over for miles. Residents of the town of Mayfield have huddled together in a makeshift shelter at a local church, where green cots are spread among a room with low ceilings and a large standing cross.

After a tornado swept through the town, Trey and Meghan Rackley’s three daughters sought refuge in a windowless bathroom as it approached their home on Friday night. Minutes later, a twister splintered the home and carried them away. Annistyn, a third-grader who loved swimming and cheerleading, was killed along with her mother and sister. Trey and Avalinn survived.

As workers struggled to recover from the storm, relatives of victims opened their doors and offered food and lodging. Those who lost their homes are staying in temporary housing in places like hotel rooms and state park cottages, and the death toll is expected to rise. Currently, 74 people in Kentucky have been confirmed dead. Eight more people were feared buried in the collapse of a candle factory, but a company spokesperson said Sunday that all employees who worked at the facility had been sent home when the tornado warning sirens began blaring.


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