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NC American Red Cross units will not be deployed to Kentucky ‘at this time’, regional director confirms

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A woman searches for valuables amidst the remnants of a home on Saturday, Dec.11, 2021 following a tornado. (Christian Gooden/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

Editor’s Note: This story is now out-of-date. CBS17 learned Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021 that North Carolina is sending two Red Cross representatives to Kentucky to aid.

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RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) – Raleigh’s American Red Cross Regional Executive Director said the state’s local units will not be deployed at this time to help with tornado relief efforts in Kentucky and the Midwest, but said they could be at a later date.

“The American Red Cross in North Carolina has not yet been asked to deploy any volunteers at this time. Volunteers from Tennessee, Mississippi, and states that are closer will be the first to engage, but that does not mean over time that we won’t be supporting in relief operations,” Barry Porter, Raleigh’s American Red Cross Regional Executive Director, told CBS 17’s Kayla Morton in a voicemail Saturday afternoon.

Porter did not confirm which, if any, closer states have been asked to deploy to help Kentucky recover from the damage caused by overnight tornadoes that have left at least 50 dead.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has already declared a state of emergency for all of Kentucky and held multiple press conferences since 5:45 a.m. eastern Saturday. He has also drafted and sent a letter to President Joe Biden requesting help and aid.

“One tornado struck the City of Mayfield which is reporting major damages to public facilities, businesses and residences,” Beshear’s letter said. “It is reported that a Graves County factory has collapsed, trapping workers and we believe there are at least 50 fatalities.”

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