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Postal vehicles sit destroyed behind the post office after a tornado ripped through Mayfield, Ky., on Dec. 10. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

More than two dozen tornadoes touched down in six Midwest and Southern states overnight Friday, leaving in their wake widespread destruction of property, rolling power outages and at least several dozen dead.

Driving the news: More than 70 people are believed to have been killed in Kentucky, and around two dozen others are estimated to have died in Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, Mississippi and Tennessee.

Details: The death toll in Kentucky may exceed 100 after tornadoes tore through the western part of the state, according to Gov. Andy Beshear, who called it "the worst, most devastating, most deadly tornado event" in the state's history.

  • President Biden on Saturday issued an emergency declaration in Kentucky and ordered federal assistance to support recovery efforts. The president also said he stands "ready to do the same for the governors of the other states," during a press conference from Delaware on Saturday afternoon.
  • Biden has been in touch throughout the day with governors of the states impacted by severe weather, and told them "to call him directly if there is any federal support they need," the White House said in a readout of the calls.

In Arkansas, two residents of a nursing home died and five people, so far, have been reported injured after one of the tornadoes tore through the Monette Manor nursing home, according to Monette Mayor Bob Blankenship.

  • Illinois: At least six deaths have been confirmed after a roof collapsed at an Amazon warehouse near Edwardsville, Illinois, local police said in a statement on Saturday. Fire chief James Whiteford said 45 people had made it out safely as of that afternoon.
  • Missouri: At least two people were killed and two others were injured in building collapses near St. Charles County and Pemiscot County in Missouri. National Weather Service employees in Weldon Spring, Missouri, 30 miles west of St. Louis, had to take shelter as a tornado passed near their office, AP reports.
  • Mississippi: The state avoided most of the severe storms, but at least one possible tornado touched down near the Tishomingo area early Saturday morning, the Clarion Ledger reports.
  • Tennessee: Officials in Tennessee have so far confirmed four deaths from the tornadoes. Two people died in Lake County, one in Obion County and another in Shelby County, according to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency.

State of play: Biden said he would visit the states impacted by the severe weather once his presence won't "get in the way of rescue and recovery" efforts.

  • "I'm working with the governor of Kentucky and others who may want me to be there, to make sure we're value added at the time, we're not going to get in the way of rescue and recovery. I do plan on going."
  • The president also referenced the scale and scope of the unprecedented tornadoes, saying: "This is likely to be one of the largest tornado outbreaks in our history."

Go deeper: In photos: Deadly tornadoes leave damage across Kentucky, multiple states

Go deeper

The latest on Colorado’s Marshall Fire

An Arvada firefighter walks back to the firetruck as a fast moving wildfire swept through a Louisville neighborhood, destroying cars and homes. Photo: Marc Piscotty/Getty Images

The wind-fueled flames of the Marshall Fire dashed from house to house yesterday, torching entire neighborhoods and skipping others, indiscriminately destroying lives and capping a difficult year in Colorado.

The latest: The orange flames that lit up the skies around Boulder County left behind a black-and-white scene Friday, as snow fell on charred homes and piles of gray ash.

Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers

President Biden speaking from Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Jan. 21. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge in Texas blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its coronavirus vaccine mandate for federal workers on Friday, citing the outcome of last week's Supreme Court ruling that nullified the administration's vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

Why it matters: It's a blow to President Biden's efforts to increase the U.S.' vaccination rates, though much of the federal workforce has already been vaccinated against the virus.

Updated 32 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker