DOZENS of frightened pets were left homeless after a series of devastating tornadoes rampaged across the Midwest.
The storms displaced residents and devastated towns as they hit several states including Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, and Arkansas.
Kentucky was the worst-hit state by far and at least 74 people are confirmed to have died. The death toll is feared to be much higher as crews continue to search for bodies.
Over 1,000 homes in the state were destroyed in the twisters.
Harrowing pictures show eight-year-old Braelyn Todd cuddling her Yorkshire Terrier Abner while her parents search for valuables among the rubble.
And Charlene Stanley, of Central City, is pictured comforting dog Gus as she searches the debris that was once her sister-in-law’s home in Bremen.
Amanda Nichols rescued a pet rabbit from underneath the debris of a home that was destroyed, while dog owner Derrick Starks managed to lure Cheyenne out of a window.
Dogs were pictured in cages next to their owners in sleeping shelters after being displaced.
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Officials warned that dozens of people could be left without heat, water, or electricity in freezing temperatures for weeks.
Efforts have been ramped up to repair power grids and shelter those whose homes were devastated.
Read our tornado tracker live blog for the very latest news and updates…
Mayfield Mayor Kathy Stewart O'Nan told CBS: “Our infrastructure is so damaged. We have no running water. Our water tower was lost.
"Our wastewater management was lost, and there’s no natural gas to the city. So we have nothing to rely on there.
“So that is purely survival at this point for so many of our people.”
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear vowed that he wouldn’t let any family go homeless.
He said that lodges in parks are being used to provide temporary shelter.
Jack Whitfield Jr, the Hopkins County judge-executive, told the Associated Press: “It looks like a bomb went off. It’s just completely destroyed in areas. A full recovering is going to take years.”
Glynda Glover, 82, said her bed was left covered in shattered glass as the wind blew out her apartment's windows. She said she doesn’t know what “normalcy” is anymore.
And Tim Morgan, a volunteer chaplain, said: “Just absolute decimation. There is an entire hillside of houses that are three feet tall now.”
President Biden will be surveying the damage as he visits Kentucky today.
FEMA has sent around 135,000 gallons of water, 74,000 meals, thousands of cots, blankets, and pandemic shelter kits.
The relentless twisters claimed victims in other states.
The body of Annistyn Rackley, nine, was found in a field after the twister devastated her parents' home near Caruthersville, southeast Missouri on Friday.
The third-grader and her siblings sought shelter in a windowless bathroom before the storms hit.
The girls' mom Meghan sent Annistyn’s “aunt Sandy” a photo of the three smiling kids in and next to the bathtub.
Minutes after the snap was taken, the family members were carried dozens of yards through the air and into a field. First responders found them in the mud.
Sandra Hooker, the sister of Meghan’s grandma, branded Annistyn a “special angel”, adding she was energetic and outgoing despite suffering from a rare liver condition.
She told the AP: “Their house is splintered. There’s debris-strewn forever out in the field, and so they were sucked up into the tornado.”
Korean war veteran and Covid-19 survivor Golden Hembry was one of two people to die in the Monette Manor retirement home in Monette, Arkansas.
The veteran was in the hallway when the roof collapsed and tragically didn’t survive.
And, several Amazon workers were killed as the storms hit a factory in Edwardsville, Illinois.
Insured losses from the devastating storms could cost up to $5billion, according to experts.
Credit agency Fitch told Reuters that the losses could rival the Midwest’s “derecho” event in August 2020.
Winds swept through parts of Nebraska, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana.
And, 126mph gusts were recorded in Atkins, Iowa, CBS2 reports.
Homes and businesses in Cedar Rapids were left without power for almost a month while corn fields were devastated.
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