AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM) – At FEMA’s request, Gov. Abbott has approved the activation of a Texas A&M Task Force to help in the aftermath of deadly tornadoes in Western Kentucky.

Abbott said in a statement Saturday that 10 members of Texas A&M Task Force 1 would be activated to help deploy the Central Incident Support Team cache, which is a part of the FEMA Urban Search and Rescue System.

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The cache provides specialized equipment like technical gear and communication devices that Urban Search and Rescue teams will use to help those in need.

Early this morning, severe storms and tornadoes ripped a path of destruction through Kentucky.

A sign for the town of Mayfield, Kentucky stands amidst tornado damage in Mayfield, Kentucky. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

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Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said he fears that by the end of the day, the death toll may exceed 100.

“Earlier this morning at about 5 a.m. we were pretty sure that we would lose over 50 Kentuckians, now we are certain that that number is north of 70,” he said at a press conference late Saturday morning. “It may in fact end up exceeding 100 before the day is done.”

“The State of Texas stands ready to assist our friends in Kentucky as they continue their response and recovery efforts in the wake of deadly tornadoes that shook the western portion of their state overnight,” said Governor Abbott. “Thank you to the members of Texas A&M Task Force 1 who are making their way to Western Kentucky to help those in need. I ask all Texans to join Cecilia and me in praying for those affected by these horrific tornadoes.”

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