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Muhlenberg County neighborhoods unrecognizable after tornado outbreak

Governor Andy Beshear saw the devastation in Bremen, Kentucky--a town of only 350 people that had 11 storm-related deaths.

MUHLENBERG COUNTY, Ky. — Governor Andy Beshear assured residents of the quiet community of Bremen that support and resources will last as long as needed.

He surveyed the damage alongside local officials on Tuesday afternoon after his daily briefing. Several residents came to greet him as many members of the community begin the painstaking process of cleaning up.

"I can't imagine how it's got to feel for a community this size to lose that many people," Beshear said. "If there is anything we can do, we will do it and if not, we will find somebody who will get it done."

Two tornadoes touched down in Muhlenberg County with one traveling 17 miles across Bremen. The powerful storms leveled many homes and killed at least 11 people including District Judge Brian Crick.

The Kentucky Supreme Court confirmed his death in a statement from Chief Justice Minton saying, "we are especially heartbroken...this is a shocking loss to his family, his community and the court system."

Credit: AP
This undated photo provided by the Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts on Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021 shows District Judge Brian Crick. (Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts via AP)

Deputy sheriff Alex Piper was friends with Crick for many years and called him a "fair and great man."

"He was always in good spirits outside of the courtroom and he kind of joked and he was just a great guy," Piper said.

Piper and other deputies have been helping keep the devastated areas closed off for workers and residents only. For a town with a population of 350 people, the impact has been amplified.

The oldest victim is in their 70s and the youngest was only 5-months-old.

"It's kind of almost dream-like," Piper added. "There's no amount of training and nothing you can do to prepare for an incident of this size and deal with it."

The volunteer fire department has been the central location for all things donations and help. The size of volunteers went down since it was the weekday, but the support was overwhelming almost immediately.

"Sometimes folks would think the spirit of humanity is gone and it's not and this is the perfect example," Piper said.

President Joe Biden is expected to survey the damage on Wednesday. He will visit Mayfield and Dawson Springs.

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