Family of five and grandmother confirmed dead in tornado

The horrific tornadoes that ripped through as many as US eight states late on Friday and early Saturday are being blamed for at least 88 deaths, officials said.

Six members of the same family are confirmed to have died when a tornado hit their home in Bowling Green, Kentucky on Friday night, a relative told CNN.

Rachael and Steven Brown, were with their four kids and Rachael's mother, Victoria Smith, when a tornado hit their home.

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Recovery efforts continue on Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021, for Bowling Green residents living in the Briarwood neighborhood following the tornado and severe storms that hit the city on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021. (Grace Ramey/Bowling Green Daily News via AP)

Ms Smith, the couple, and their children Nariah Cayshelle, Nolynn, and Nyles were killed in the tornado, Rachael Brown's aunt, Dornicho Jackson McGee, told CNN.

The couple's 13-year-old daughter is still missing, Ms McGee told CNN.

Rachael and Steven Brown.Nyssa Brown 13 (missing), Nariah Brown 16, Nolynn Brown 8, Nyles Brown 4.

The Browns moved to Bowling Green after Steven accepted a job offer two years ago, according to Ms McGee.

"They were very family-oriented. They loved their family. They loved their kids," Ms McGee said.

Family members and friends of the victims are reeling from the losses as the death toll continues to climb.

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Meteorologists are investigating whether one tornadic storm, dubbed the 'Quad-State supercell',  produced one exceptionally long-lived violent tornado or multiple ones. The line of damage extends for more than 300 kilometres.

In Kentucky, at least 74 people have died, according to Governor Andy Beshear, who added the number is expected to rise.

In addition to the deaths in Kentucky, 109 residents remain unaccounted for, Mr Beshear said.

At least 14 people have been killed in four other states – six in Illinois, four in Tennessee and two each in Arkansas and Missouri – officials have said.

This is the deadliest tornado day in December on record.

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