FedEx warns of holiday shipping delays after storms cause 'substantial disruptions'

FedEx is warning that customers could see delays in their holiday shipments after severe weather ripped through at least five states, leaving widespread devastation.

"FedEx Express experienced substantial disruptions at the Memphis hub last night due to severe thunderstorms," the company said on its website. "Potential delays are possible for package deliveries across the U.S. with a delivery commitment of December 11, 2021."

The company asked customers to continue to check the status of their shipments for updated delivery dates. 

RELATED: Mayfield, Kentucky tornado: Gov. fears at least 70 dead after storm hits candle factory

Kentucky’s governor said a monstrous tornado may have killed at least 70 people in the state and the toll was climbing. Gov. Andy Beshear said the twister touched down for more than 200 miles in Kentucky and the death toll could exceed 100 across 10 or more counties.

"This has been the most devastating tornado event in our state’s history," Beshear said at a news conference Saturday.

The storms hit a candle factory in Kentucky, an Amazon facility in Illinois and a nursing home in Arkansas. Beshear said about 110 people were in the Mayfield factory when the tornado hit.

RELATED: Georgia severe weather threat: Isolated tornadoes, damaging winds and heavy rain

President Joe Biden tweeted Saturday that he was briefed on the situation and pledged the affected states would "have what they need as the search for survivors and damage assessments continue."

At least one person died at an Amazon facility in Edwardsville, Illinois, Police Chief Mike Fillback told reporters Saturday morning. The roof of the building was ripped off and a wall about the length of a football field collapsed.

Two people at the facility were taken to hospitals in St. Louis, about 25 miles away, Fillback said. The chief said he did not know their medical conditions. About 30 people who were in the building were taken to the police station for evaluation.

RELATED: Deaths confirmed in collapsed Amazon warehouse in Illinois after severe weather

Workers at a National Weather Service office had to take shelter as a tornado passed near their office in Weldon Spring, Missouri, about 30 miles west of St. Louis. One person died and two others were injured in building collapses near the towns of Defiance and New Melle, both just a few miles from the weather service office.

A tornado struck the Monette Manor nursing home in Arkansas on Friday night, killing one and trapping 20 people inside as the building collapsed, Craighead County Judge Marvin Day told The Associated Press. Five people had serious injuries, and a few others had minor ones, he said. Another person died when the storm hit a Dollar General store in nearby Leachville, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said.

RELATED: Severe storms, including tornado risk, expected Friday night for mid-South, Ohio Valley

Three storm-related deaths were confirmed in Tennessee, said Dean Flener, spokesman for the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency. Two of the deaths occurred in Lake County, and the third was in Obion County — both in the northwestern corner of the state.

The storms swept through Bowling Green, Kentucky, near the Tennessee border, tearing roofs off homes and flinging debris into roadways. A GM Corvette Assembly Plant and the nearby Corvette Museum sustained light damage. A semitrailer was overturned and pushed against a building just across the street.

Western Kentucky University’s president said on Twitter that one of its student who lived off-campus was killed. The school called off commencement ceremonies that were planned for Saturday because the campus was without power.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.