Return to Transcripts main page
New Day Sunday
More Than 80 Dead After Tornadoes Rip Through Six States; Today: DHS And FEMA Heads Traveling To Tornado-Ravaged Areas; Biden Approved Federal Emergency Declaration For Kentucky; Survivors Of Deadly Tornadoes Describe Harrowing Moments; At Least Three Killed After Houses Collapse In Italy; Ex-Trump Adviser Peter Navarro Defies House COVID Probe Subpoena. Aired 7-8a ET
Aired December 12, 2021 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: Make sure to watch CNN Heroes.
WALKER: Good morning, everyone. And welcome to this special edition of NEW DAY WEEKEND. It is Sunday, December 12th. I'm Amara Walker in for Christi Paul.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Boris Sanchez, live in Edwardsville, Illinois. This community reeling after being hit by an EF3 tornado that left six people dead. And, unfortunately, scenes like the one playing out behind me are also playing out in several states, with rescue and recovery and cleanup efforts under way after this weekend's powerful storms.
WALKER: The heads of Homeland Security and FEMA are traveling to the region today, bringing much-needed resources to the devastated communities.
Storms unleashed more than 30 tornados late Friday into early Saturday, destroying buildings and claiming lives across six states, and one twister, just one, may be responsible for damage along a 250- mile stretch from Arkansas to Kentucky. Officials now fear as many as 80 people may have lost their lives.
SANCHEZ: And here in Edwardsville, authorities say a recovery effort could take three days, as we look at what's left of this Amazon warehouse behind me. At least six people died after a tornado just carved through the building. Eleven-inch concrete walls falling in. The roof collapsing.
Roughly 45 people made it out, but getting an exact number of how many were in the warehouse at the time has proved difficult. These were shift workers, a lot of people coming and going.
Now, rescue and -- search and cries operations I should say have shifted into search and recovery operations. Officials not expecting to find anyone else alive underneath the rubble. It is Mayfield, Kentucky, though, that may be the hardest hit area in
this set of storms. It's estimated that more than 100 people were working in a candle factory when the tornado hit, and Kentucky's Governor Andy Beshear says just 40 have been rescued there.
Officials and loved ones have been searching for the missing and they are stunned by what they're seeing.
Here's some of what they shared with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DARRYL JOHNSON, SEARCH FOR MISSING SISTER: This is probably the worst thing I ever seen in my life in person and I've been several places and I've seen, you know -- this is terrible.
TODD HAYDEN, GRAVES COUNTY, KENTUCKY COMMISSIONER: Somebody said that's the candle factory right there. You got to be kidding me. It was nothing but a pile of metal, and it was just shock.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALKER: I tell you that these storms have completely altered the landscape of Mayfield, Kentucky. In fact, there are just a few buildings that are left standing in the town of about 10,000. The National Guard and other Kentucky commonwealth personnel are conducting house-to-house searches and, of course, debris removal.
Kentucky's governor and President Biden each reassuring Kentuckians that everything is being done to help.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The federal government is not going to walk away. This is one of those times when we aren't Democrats or Republicans. Sounds like hyperbole, but it's real. We're all Americans. We stand together as the United States of America.
GOV. ANDY BESHEAR (D), KENTUCKY: I just want everybody to know that you are not alone. Today, Kentucky is absolutely united, we're united with our people. We're united to find and rescue as many as possible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Let's take you straight to Mayfield, Kentucky, now and CNN's Nadia Romero.
Nadia has been there since very early on, soon after these storms hit.
Nadia, yesterday you were speaking to people that rushed to that scene of the candle factory looking for loved ones. They were very emotional, very distraught by the destruction that they saw.
Have you spoken to them? Have they connected with their loved ones? And what are you seeing now? NADIA ROMERO, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. Boris, it's so sad to
have to report this, but, you know, it's been since about 3:00 a.m. yesterday morning since first responders were able to pull out a survivor from that rubble over at the candle factory not far from where we are right now in Mayfield.
We interviewed a man named Ivy Williams, who really spoke from his heart a broken heart, speaking about his missing wife, Janine Williams, who was working at the candle factory trying to get some overtime, trying to get those orders out, as we are just about two weeks from the Christmas holiday and her and her coworkers were in that factory when the building collapsed.
It came down during that tornado, and he hasn't heard from her since. He's being optimistic, though, holding on to a little bit of hope that she may just be simply unresponsive at an area hospital and that's why she hasn't reached out.
And that really speaks to the dire situation all across Kentucky and specifically here in Mayfield, the governor is calling ground zero. Take a look behind me, I mean, you can see just absolute destruction and every corner looks just like this one.
To the left here, you will see this area where some cars are in front, some pickup trucks that used to be an auto shop there on the corner. On this side, there was Latino supermarket. Next to me was a vibrant antique mall.
I mean, this was thriving intersection here on Eighth and Broadway, and now, I mean what will it take to put this back together? When you talk to people, they tell you about the loss of life, but then also the loss of history, the loss of the story of this town that was told in these buildings that have been standing for hundreds of years. Now, they're trying to rebuild all of that and still recover those who may be buried underneath all of this rubble.
Listen to one woman we have talked to earlier, Barbara Patterson, as she explains her story of survival and what's left of what used to be her neighborhood. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARBARA PATTERSON, LOST HER HOME IN THE TORNADO: This was my home until last night. Me and him to be able to get somewhere and be together, find us place and be together, and then get our family back. We're very oriented family, and that's what's carrying us through right now, is our family and the Lord.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMERO: And so many in this community came out right after the storm and tried to help out. We saw people all day yesterday, no doubt they will be out again today, with buckets of food and pallets of water giving to first responders, giving to survivors. And what makes this storm so deadly, not just the storm event itself, but now the aftermath. There's no power here, there's no heat for anyone. It is cold, cold, cold.
And if there is someone trapped inside their home, maybe in a basement or cellar, you're trying so hard to get to them, that's why it's so important to have those resources come in like the National Guard going door to door to try to make sure everyone that is inside of a building that may be trapped gets out safely -- Amara.
WALKER: So much heartache, so much work ahead, but as we have seen time and time again, what's been heartwarming is to see neighbors helping neighbors.
Nadia Romero, thank you for your reporting.
You know, it's the before and after images that really reveal the true scale of destruction from Friday night's deadly tornados.
Just take a look, on the left you can see drone footage of the county courthouse in Mayfield, Kentucky, before the storm and then on the right that is the after picture. The same area completely destroyed.
To Monette, Arkansas, what used to be a nursing home no longer recognizable. The entire area just wiped out. When you go further north to Edwardsville, Illinois, where Boris Sanchez is, an Amazon warehouse, partially hit by the tornado. And you can see where it was hit. That part of the building completely collapsed. Six people were killed as a result.
And that candle factory in Mayfield, Kentucky, now in complete ruins. Emergency crews rescued a number of employees trapped under that debris there on the right. But we are told dozens were killed when that building came down. Those recovery efforts are ongoing.
It's not clear yet exactly how many people have been injured by the tornados.
Dr. Brad Housman is vice president and chief medical officer of Baptist Health Paducah.
Doctor, thank you so much for joining us.
First of all, I just want to start with those images in Mayfield of the candle factory, and it really is astounding to look at those images and to comprehend that about 40 people made it out alive, 40 out of 110.
When you hear that, what do you think?
DR. BRAD HOUSMAN, VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, BAPTIST HEALTH PADUCAH: Yeah. The images really are very devastating, and we're just fortunate we've had the number of survivors we have had to this point.
WALKER: Tell me a little bit about the types of injuries that you are seeing. HOUSMAN: Yeah. The injuries that we've seen to this point have been
consistent with folks that have been trapped or immobilized within the building. When folks think about a tornado or trauma, they may think about things like lacerations or broken bones, and certainly we're prepared for that, but what we're seeing are more injuries consistent with folks that were immobilized and had deep tissue or muscle injuries from being confined in those spaces.
WALKER: And -- I mean, has the hospital where you work, have you guys been overwhelmed with patients?
What are the scenes looking like?
HOUSMAN: Well, beginning early in the day Friday, we were following along with the weather and we were prepared for significant casualties should they occur. After the event, the stream of patients, if you will, was steady throughout the night, but as was mentioned, we haven't seen any survivors since early yesterday.
WALKER: You know, the governor, Andy Beshear, said yesterday regarding the candle factory that it would be a miracle if anybody else was found alive. We know time is of the essence. Do you share the same sentiment, Doctor?
HOUSMAN: Absolutely. It was definitely a chilly evening overnight. Then as time goes by, even though we remained hopeful and optimistic, the chance of survivors being found lessens dramatically.
WALKER: What has access for health care been for many of these survivors, many who have been injured? I know that officials in Dawson Springs, I think that's where -- not Dawson Springs, but we've been seeing the images and how neighborhoods have been wiped out and we were told the closest hospital to Dawson Springs is about 20 miles away.
Has that hampered any efforts to help the injured?
HOUSMAN: We were able to mobilize forces throughout the region and so we were able to get care for the folks that needed it. So, to this point, all the surrounding health care facilities have done a great job of caring for the folks in this community.
WALKER: So there's no issues with power or damage to any of the health care facilities?
HOUSMAN: I can't speak for the hospital there in Mayfield. Certainly here in Paducah we were fortunate not to have any damage here, and so we were ready and prepared to offer any help and take care of any patients as need be.
WALKER: Well, we thank you for what you and your colleagues are doing and continue to do. Dr. Brad Housman, thank you.
Boris? HOUSMAN: Absolutely. Thank you.
SANCHEZ: Meantime, Amara, President Biden has said he plans to travel to the region to survey damage in the coming days, not wanting to divert any resources away from areas that need them.
CNN White House reporter Kevin Liptak is traveling with the president in Wilmington, Delaware.
Kevin, walk us through what the White House is doing to help these communities that have been impacted by these storms?
KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yeah, this is really a test of confidence for any president and President Biden is no exception. Right now, Boris, his focus is on ensure every federal dollar, every federal resource, makes it to these states without getting bogged down in bureaucratic red tape, ensure the federal government is talking to state governments, is talking to local governments, and really making sure every state gets what they need.
Now, the president spoke yesterday with governors from five states, including the governor of Kentucky, at least three times. One of the things he's asked his officials to do is to proactively tell these governors what is available to them, what resources they're entitled to, so that they know what they have coming to them.
The president said yesterday that he did want to visit Kentucky, but he didn't want to divert resources. So, today, you will see a delegation from the Biden administration head down to Kentucky, including the FEMA administrator and the secretary of homeland security. They will be speaking to local officials.
There are already resources from FEMA on the ground, rescue teams, things like water. One of the things that the president said that he was particularly focused on was housing, ensure that people who have lost their homes have a place to go.
Another thing the president said yesterday, he wanted to keep politics out of this. Listen to what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: Those times when we aren't Democrats or Republicans. Sounds like hyperbole, but it's real. We're all Americans. We stand together as the United States of America. I promise you, whatever is needed, whatever is needed, the federal government is going to find a way to supply it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LIPTAK: So the president really in crisis manager mode now. But he did off hint that this may be moving into an investigatory phase. At some point, he talked about wanting to find out if there were any missed warnings that could have led to further devastation.
He talked about asking the EPA to look at whether climate change may have made these storms more severe. And, of course, the president will be turning to the consular in chief phase. He has played this role multiple times now over the course of the presidency. He said yesterday his heartaches for the people who are affected by these storms -- Boris.
SANCHEZ: It is a role, Kevin, that sadly he is very familiar with.
Kevin Liptak, reporting from Wilmington, Delaware, thank you.
So, we know many of you watching want to do something to help the victims of this tragedy. Fortunately, you can. CNN Impact Your World, the website, has verified ways that you can lend a helping hand. That site is going to be updated as more information on resources becomes available. You can go there right now, it's CNN.com/impact.
You can learn more about how to help these folks when they need it most. We're going to have more, the latest headlines from across the region, after a quick break.
WALKER: Authorities say the death toll from devastating tornados that churned across the central and southern U.S. could exceed 80 people. Right now, rescuers are digging through piles of debris searching for any survivors.
SANCHEZ: The governor of Kentucky says that more than 70 people may have died in that state alone.
One of the most devastated sites, you're looking at it now, a candle factory, in Mayfield where more than 100 people were working. Were told so far 40 have been rescued.
Meantime, in Illinois, six people died in the collapse of an Amazon warehouse. It's right behind me. Emergency officials in Tennessee are now reporting four deaths there. Aerial footage showing a house with a roof ripped right off, trees nearby uprooted. This massive storm system spawning as many as 30 tornados that ripped across six states.
We want to bring in Kathy O'Nan, now, the mayor of Mayfield, Kentucky, where the candle factory collapsed.
Mayor, thank you so much for joining us this morning.
I understand you're someone that has very deep ties to Mayfield? You've lived there since 1976 and you were a teacher there and a lot of the people that work in the city now, were your students. I'm wondering, as you survey the damage, how you're feeling and how you're holding up seeing all the devastation?
MAYOR KATHY O'NAN, MAYFIELD, KENTUCKY (via telephone): We are doing well, Boris, as well as can be expected. Our immediate concern right now, of course, is the safety and you look at the rescue and are recovery, and we are hoping all the people who lost their homes were able to find shelter last night.
It's 30 degrees here now. It's really cold. There are -- we lost a water tower so there's no water flowing within the city of Mayfield. That is an immediate concern, as well as the protection, the warmth for our citizens.
SANCHEZ: And, Mayor, I'm curious to find out about the workers at the candle factory, if you knew folks that worked there? Because Mayfield is a small town. It's roughly 10,000 people, and this was a major employer and in the middle of the holidays, they were working 24/7.
What can you tell us about the people there?
O'NAN: I learned last night one of my former students worked there and lost their life. I also learned that a gentleman who we had a work program with some of the inmates from our local jail who were released to work there, had to have a deputy with them at all times and that deputy lost his life.
So, it is -- it is hitting home as far as public -- the loss of their souls to us as we learn more and more about who will not be with us anymore.
SANCHEZ: Mayor, I'm so sorry for your loss. It's painful to look at these images and to know that there are people that you had a profound effect on that suffered the unimaginable there. As we take a look at other areas of Mayfield, what is the next step for you in terms of recovery? What is it that you need that local, state, federal officials might be able to do to help you get over some of the hurdles toward building back stronger?
O'NAN: We are in close communication with the governor. I was with him yesterday. I've just learned that he will be back in Mayfield today. Learning what he's making available to us through the state. I've spoken with Senator Mitch McConnell yesterday and know that the federal government is right there to help us. Locally, we are -- all of west Kentucky, yesterday when I was at the candle factory, there were working alongside our own rescue EMT workers (INAUDIBLE) as far away from Louisville, Kentucky.
Of course, the counties surrounding us, from Murray and Paducah have sent us forces as well, that our traffic control was being controlled by the Paducah police department, so leaving our police department here to take care of things within the city.
The efforts there are just amazing. All we have to do is ask the people around us and they are ready. We have so many people saying, what can we do, what can we do?
The organization of that is, I wouldn't say overwhelming, but it's going to take a lot of organization and so that's the stage where we are today.
SANCHEZ: And we know that the workers that are on-site are doing everything that they can to find anyone that may be trapped and doing everything they can to help those that may have been injured.
Mayor, I'm curious as to whether you've heard of any other rescues, perhaps at the candle factory or elsewhere? Any light in this darkness that you might be able to share with us?
A story of survival, perhaps?
O'NAN: I'm so sorry, I don't have a specific one for you today at this moment. I just briefly spoke with our fire chief who is in charge of our emergency services as well, and there have been at the candle factory no more rescues. I did not ask him about recoveries. I hope as the sun is coming up here and the day progresses that I do hear more stories such as those, of miracles. Because they are out there, they are out there, and I'm sure we will hear about them.
SANCHEZ: We have to keep hope, not open only for a miracle but a recovery. This is a tight-knit community that will build back. And, Mayor, if there's any way that we can help you in that process, please don't hesitate to reach out.
We're sorry for the devastation and for the loss that you've incurred, again, with people that you had a profound impact on as a teacher, but we're grateful for your time. Thank you for share your time with us this morning.
O'NAN: Thank you for your coverage, Boris. I appreciate it so much.
SANCHEZ: Of course. Thanks.
Next up for us, more stories of survival from those who lived through the devastation and are now dealing with the aftermath.
Stay with CNN. We'll be right back.
WALKER: After Friday night's string of deadly tornados across the central U.S., many survivors are struggling to try to rebuild this morning. Some lost loved ones, others everything they owned.
SANCHEZ: Those affected by the storms spoke with us about what it's like to be right in the middle of a nightmare, one of the worst tornado outbreaks on record. Here's some of what they shared with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IVY WILLIAMS, MISSING WIFE WORKS AT THE CANDLE FACTORY: I'm looking for my wife. So if anyone knows, please contact me. I want to find my wife. I want to find her and know if she's somewhere safe. I hope she's somewhere safe.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I never dreamed this. I just thought maybe a shingle or two, and I lost it when they brought me this morning.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just pushed me back. Dog fell on top of me. Everything was falling apart.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Terrifying. I'm just blessed to be alive right now. Hate to see it happen to my hometown where I grew up at.
ROBERT MILLER, STORM SURVIVOR: I remember seeing just all the power, the last thing I remember the power went out, the sky turned blue and then I seen the funnel cloud over that way. I ran inside. I told my other buddy in bed, out here trying to finish a cigarette, barely made it back inside and that was it. Everything started caving in. It was nuts, man. We're all right, man.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A girl that had a newborn, it blew the roof off of her house and she just so happened to wake up right before it happened and was able to get the baby out of there before it actually hit.
KYANNA PARSONS-PEREZ, CANDLE FACTORY WORKER: It was the most terrifying thing that I have ever experienced in my life. At first I was really calm, but then after being pinned down for so long and my legs were hurting and I couldn't move them and I couldn't feel them and things like that, I started to panic myself. I was calling my mother. When I called 911, they said we know. We're trying to get there. If they're working everywhere else, who is going to come get us?
LORI WOOTON, HID IN DAUGHTERS' BASEMENT DURING TORNADO: It's a very sad day, and I think people are just amazed when they come out of their basements or cellars and see their home was just missing, it's just not there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, we got in the closet and a huge crash came through and it was our neighbor's tree that just came through the entire back bedroom.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One minute there was a window and a wall, and the next minute there wasn't.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Definitely scary. I was panicking. Started hearing glass bits flying through the house and realized that this thing was on top of me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The windows start breaking, dogs flying through the air, I didn't know what to do. Walls feel like they was caving in. It was very scary.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: So there were at least 30 reported tornados Friday night stretching south to Mississippi and hitting as far north as Illinois.
WALKER: And the deadly storm system could have possibly spawned a single tornado that carved a 250-mile-long path of destruction through four states.
Let's go now to meteorologist Tyler Mauldin in the CNN Weather Center for more on this -- Tyler.
TYLER MAULDIN, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Only a handful of tornados have ever tracked more than 200 miles. In fact, the longest tracked tornado in history is back in 1925 at 219 miles in length. The tornado in question here, that could potentially have broken that record, is the one that went across the four states, Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, and Kentucky, same one that hit Monette and left behind before and after images like this.
It continued to track and we were tracking it for roughly four hours Friday night.
It went over Mayfield as well, same system that left behind before and after images like this in neighborhoods in Mayfield. Just absolute destruction.
Not only did that Quad State tornado potentially track more than 200 miles, but we could have potentially seen two tornadoes track more than 200 miles. The National Weather Service has to assess the damage and do some research here to make sure that the two did track more than 100 miles. So that's something that we'll have to confirm a little later down the road.
What we have seen here and the National Weather Service has sent out crews to begin surveying the tornado damage to determine the intensity of these tornados, just from aerial views here in Kentucky, we have seen ef-3 level damage. Once we get on the ground and start assessing the damage, it could be possible that some of those tornadoes in Kentucky are confirmed at a higher level, maybe an EF-4, EF-5.
Going into Edwardsville and Defiance in Illinois, we also have EF-3 damage possible here as well. When I say more than EF-3, we're talking EF-4, EF-5, which is devastating to incredible damage and winds in excess of 200 miles possibly, 200 miles per hour.
WALKER: Wow. Yeah, that is very powerful. Tyler Mauldin, thank you so much.
And after the break, we will get an update from Kentucky emergency manager Michael Dossett with the latest on the recovery efforts.
WALKER: Right now, authorities are searching for survivors after several buildings collapsed in Southern Italy. At least two people have been rescued there and three people have been found dead. Officials say the buildings were destroyed in an explosion triggered by a large gas leak.
Let's get right to Barbie Nadeau in Rome.
Hi there, Barbie. What more can you tell us about what officials are saying about the
BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: That's right. This happened late last night and, you know, there were people at home, it was kind of a cold night and there were a lot of people in their homes at the time, and they tonight know exactly what triggered this explosion.
They think it could be when someone used the elevator in the building and because the gas had been leaking no one recognized the smell, and it blew up these three residences, affect mean other buildings in the quite small, close knit town. There are about 50 people who are left homeless from this.
And it's very devastating, because it's a small place, everybody knows each other and everybody knew who was home and who was -- you know, who they're searching for. That's been traumatic for the people involved in this horrific accident -- Amara.
WALKER: All right. Barbie Nadeau, appreciate your reporting. Thank you so much for that.
And former White House trade adviser Peter Navarro refusing to comply with a congressional subpoena for documents related to the Trump administration's response to the coronavirus. In the early stages of the pandemic, Navarro was partly responsible for curating responses to the virus, and in a letter to the House subcommittee investigating the pandemic response, Navarro said former President Trump ordered him not to turn over documents and to, quote, protect executive privilege.
The subcommittee has given Navarro until this Wednesday to sit for a deposition and comply with the subpoena.
And still ahead, we will take you back to Kentucky for an update on the rescue and recovery efforts.
SANCHEZ: Rescue teams are on the ground helping communities ravaged by Friday and Saturday's tornadoes and heads of Homeland Security and FEMA are heading to areas to assess the situation and try to figure out next steps.
It is a massive effort, one that our next guest understands very well.
Joining us now is Michael Dossett. He's the director of Kentucky's Emergency Management.
Michael, good morning and thank you for sharing some of your time with us.
When we last spoke, you were still trying to get a real assessment of the extent of the damage in areas like Mayfield where the candle factory collapsed. I know you just spoke with the governor, Andy Beshear, in last few minutes.
What updates did you have for us? What did the governor share with you?
MICHAEL DOSSETT, DIRECTOR, KENTUCKY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT: Well, thank you for having us on today. And, again, our heart goes out to all the families who have lost members of in this catastrophic event. The governor, the adjutant general and I toured the area yesterday and the devastation is, quite frankly, something that you would see in a war zone.
This is an event where we had commercial and residential properties literally stripped clean from the earth. Massive recovery effort. Some of the hardest hit counties, only Graves, Mayfield, Dawson Springs, Bowling Green, so the recovery efforts go on today as we're speaking.
FEMA is on the ground. As you indicated, the secretary of homeland security defense and the FEMA administrator will be with us today, and we're moving forward at a very quick pace. FEMA granted us an emergency declaration very quickly in response to the governor's request, so we're moving resource, personnel, additional rescue teams in as we speak.
SANCHEZ: Sir, do you have any information about the ongoing condition of the candle factory in Mayfield we're looking at? Last we heard there was an arrest 3:00 a.m. yesterday. Have there been any updates since then?
DOSSETT: You know, I spoke with the EM director this morning. They're still continuing to have daylight-to-dusk operations. So, there's been no new news. It is a very sad and solemn operation at this point.
SANCHEZ: And when you are trying to get your hands on all of the different agencies that are helping, all of the different from local to state to federal groups that want to lend a helping hand, what might be some of the obstacles in the way that you want to address immediately to get help to those who need it most?
DOSSETT: You know, we don't really look at obstacles right now. We're looking at this recovery operation as how fast can we get there and what's the best job we can do? We meet continuously. The state EOC is in operation around the clock.
We're actually receiving very good cooperation from our federal partners and certainly all of our state cabinets are on site in providing resources that are required downrange. We have a number of communities that have water production issues, and moving truckloads of bottled water in. We have generation, power issues and we're working through all of the normal things that communities do.
This is an extremely, extremely hard hit for Kentucky. This may be, I'm told, at a length of 237 or 217 miles is the track of this particular event. It may end up being the largest single ground track in recorded history and that speaks to how hard Kentucky was hit. SANCHEZ: Michael Dossett, we want to give you our thanks for your
work. And we should tell our viewers, you were actually a few days away, a couple of weeks from retiring and now you're tasked with this very difficult mission. We appreciate it. We know your community appreciates it.
Michael Dossett, thank you so much for the time, sir.
DOSSETT: Thank you. If I could add one caveat, we've started a relief fund, team KentuckyReliefFund.ky.gov. Thank you.
SANCHEZ: Excellent. Thank you, Michael. And, of course, you can find more details on how to lend a helping hand at CNN.com/impact.
Thank you so much for starting your morning with us.
WALKER: It's been a tough last couple of days but we appreciate you being with us.
"INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY" is up next. But, first, we leave you with this week's "Human Factor."
NOELE LAMBERT, PARALYMPIAN: Lacrosse is something that came to me and spoke really naturally. The summer following my freshman year I was involved in a moped accident that caused me to lose my left leg above the knee. I thought my sports career was over. I mean, I thought I was never going to be able to walk again, let alone run. I had to learn to basically do everything over again. I basically fell 50 times in my first practice.
My first game back playing, I actually scored a goal.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Make it 11. It's Lambert.
LAMBERT: Someone from the U.S. Paralympic Track and Olympic Field reached out and asked if I ever thought about the sport of track and field. In my first track meet, I hit a qualified times to be on the national team but I also beat best the reigning national team. I was like I'm going to compete in Tokyo.
I have been running 100-meter for about two years. It actually made the Paralympic Games for Team USA. I started the Born to Run Foundation in 2018. Insurance will only cover your everyday walking prosthetic. They will not cover a running blade.
We actually made our first donation to a little 3-year-old little boy. The biggest thing that I want to portray to others is, I want you to live the life you want to live. If you have people believing in you and love you so much, where they want to see your dreams come true, 100 percent, I promise you, it will.