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"It will take weeks, not days." | Bowling Green officials continue working through debris

Saturday morning the city was hit by a devastating EF-3 tornado, one of many tornadoes that tore through Central and Western Kentucky.

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Bowling Green officials are continuing to work through the rubble and debris with crews restoring utilities and reconnecting families with their loved ones.

Saturday morning the city was hit by a devastating F-3 tornado, one of many tornadoes that tore through Central and Western Kentucky leaving behind them a trail of destruction.

"Yesterday was a tough day on our community," Police Chief Michael Delaney said. "But we pulled together as a community."

The Warren County coroner said that have been 12 confirmed deaths in Bowling Green, however this number may continue to grow. 

In a Sunday press briefing police said they did not have an official number of fatalities yet as they continue to be notify the next of kin.

Bowling Green Fire Chief Justin Brooks said that primary and secondary searches have been completed. 

Brooks said crews will now begin searching through debris. Crews will search until the sun goes down and return the following morning when day breaks.

"This operation will carry on for the next couple days," he said. "Stay patient, we are doing our best."

Warren County Sheriff Brett Hightower said that if you still have a family member who is missing to call 270-393-4116 to report them as missing.

RELATED: 'Total devastation' | Drone video shows Bowling Green, Kentucky tornado damage

Mark Iverson, general manager of Bowling Green's municipal utilities, said crews are still working to restore power to customers.

"When this event happened we had, of our 31,000 customers, 24,000 were without power," Iverson said. "By mid-morning we had worked that number down to 11,800."

He said as of this morning, 5,600 customers are still without power

Iverson said some crews will concentrate on cleanup efforts today.

50 transmission poles, which move power between substations, were damaged by the storm along with about 50 distribution poles.

"When you damage pole infrastructure, it's an effort to do that rebuild," he said. 

Iverson said that rebuilding would be weeks, not days. "There's a lot of major reconstruction that's going to be taken place," he added.

Bowling Green Mayor Todd Alcott said he was very appreciative of how people from Kentucky and across the world have offered their love, support and prayers. 

"There's a lot more that has to happen, it's gonna be a while before we pull ourselves out of this fully," he said. "We thank you for putting Bowling Green first and taking care of our community."


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