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Colorado Red Cross volunteers to spend Christmas in Kentucky

According to the governor of Kentucky, all of the people reported missing after a tornado tore through the state have been accounted for.

COLORADO, USA — Search and rescue efforts in Kentucky are complete. According to Gov. Andy Beshear, all of the people reported missing in Kentucky after a tornado tore through have been accounted for.

Ninety-one people are known to have died in what are being called the quad-state tornadoes. Seventy-six of those people died in Kentucky. Their ages ranged from 2 months old to 98 years old. Officials said it was the deadliest tornado outbreak the United States has seen in more than a decade.

Now the focus in Kentucky has moved to resources and rebuilding. Volunteers with the Colorado chapter of the American Red Cross are pitching in.

A group arrived in Kentucky last week and will spend Christmas there, helping those in need. 

"It really makes you understand and appreciate, in a rather terrifying way, the power of nature and what it can do," Celeste Thompson, a Colorado Red Cross volunteer, said. "I have heard so many say that they can't get out of their head, the sound of the tornado coming. This is something I've never considered or thought of before is the senses that are affected in a situation like this." 

Thompson headed to Kentucky to help run a shelter, but things changed swiftly. The volunteer said many organizations have stepped up to help bring survivors comfort ahead of the holidays.

"The governor wants to put all the displaced into state parks so that by Christmas they have some place that feels like more home, instead of a hotel or a gym or something that is less personal," she said.

Thompson said she takes great pride in giving people a little sense of home this Christmas as she reflects on the gift the survivors have given her. 

"You know, it's all in here," she said as she placed her hand on her heart. "It's just knowing that I offered a little of what I have in here." 

The Red Cross is always looking for volunteers to help respond to disasters locally and across the country. You can sign up with Colorado's local chapter.

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