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In the aftermath of the storm, Kentucky residents grapple with loss

Jarred Holmes is said to have been working inside a candle factory when it was ripped apart by a terrible tornado that killed scores of employees and left many others trapped under the rubble. mild weather. “She told me she had a bad feeling,” Holmes, 20, said Saturday outside the factory, where he waited for news from his colleague. “I was going to go to work, but she basically asked me to stay home.” Kentucky residents affected by the gale grapple with its strength and devastation and share painful survival stories even as some rush out to help with rescue efforts. Governor Andy Beshear said more than 70 people may have been killed when the tornado hit more than 200 miles away in his state, but the death toll could exceed 100 in 10 counties or more. Demolished residential homes near downtown Mayfield. Earlier, on Saturday, he said he had helped firefighters evacuate people from a collapsed brick wall at a nursing home. He recalled finding a resident dead and lying face down in 3 inches of water. “All I could do was sit there and hold my head high,” he said. “I have never experienced anything like this.” In Mayfield, debris from destroyed buildings and debris covered the ground. Sheets of metal were twisted, power lines were down, and wrecked vehicles littered the streets. Windows and roofs were blown off the buildings that were still standing. He went to the church and found water everywhere. “The wind blew, and everything in the foyer ended up in the back of the church,” he said. “And it blew off the back wall of the church, and it took off the roof of the church.” He said church members planned to hold a prayer service on Sunday, and several other local churches had reached out to provide their spaces. One church-going family was in their home when it was leveled by the storm, and two members of that family were airlifted to a hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, he said. “It’s just a building, but I’m more worried about the people. There are a lot of people who are injured,” he said. Here’s how you can help tornado victims. just outside Mayfield, said his family weathered the storm in a bathroom. “We put a lot of pillows and blankets over everyone’s head and prayed,” he said. He said it will take some time for Mayfield to recover. “We are strong, we will work together, but it will be a long time,” he said. tub to try to stay safe when a torsion occurs. When she emerged, the roof of her Mayfield home was gone. The Saxton family sought shelter Saturday night at St. Jerome at the nearby Fancy Ranch. A TV shows children’s movies and a table is decorated with coloring books, crayons and games. The children were not injured, but she recalled their horror. “They were scared, screaming, crying,” she said. “It was terrible. I tried to calm them down, but the whole time I was praying. I knew God would see us.” Her husband, Mark, was working at a candle factory and was trapped under the rubble for hours. before he was rescued. She was slashed and scratched but it was okay. “I was scary because I was thinking, ‘Oh my God, is he going to make it? So I also pray with him on the phone. I just keep talking to him, constantly. tell him God will do it. stay strong, don’t give up, keep fighting.”

Jarred Holmes is said to have been working inside a candle factory when it was ripped apart by a terrible tornado that killed scores of employees and many others trapped under the rubble.

But Holmes’ fiancée insisted he stay home on Friday night because of the overcast weather.

“She told me she had a bad feeling,” Holmes, 20, said Saturday outside the factory, where he waited for news from his colleague. “I was going to work, but she basically asked me to stay home.”

Kentucky residents affected by the twisting wind grapple with its power and devastation and share painful survival stories even as some rush to help with rescue efforts. Governor Andy Beshear said more than 70 people may have been killed as the tornado stretched more than 200 miles in his state, but the death toll could exceed 100 across 10 or more counties.

Vernon Evans sifts through debris at one of the many demolished residential homes near downtown Mayfield. Earlier, on Saturday, he said he had helped firefighters evacuate people from a collapsed brick wall at a nursing home. He recalled finding a resident dead and lying face down in 3 inches of water.

“All I could do was sit there and hold my head high,” he said. “I’ve never been through something like this.”

In Mayfield, debris from destroyed buildings and chopped trees covered the ground. Sheets of metal were twisted, power lines were down, and wrecked vehicles littered the streets. Windows and roofs that had been blown off the buildings were still standing.

Bob Waldridge, pastor of Yahweh Baptist Church, loads chairs, benches and audio equipment from the damaged 100-year-old church building into a trailer. He went to the church to find water everywhere.

“The wind was blowing, and everything in the foyer was at the back of the church,” he said. “And it blew off the back wall of the church, and it took off the roof of the church.”

He said church members plan to have a prayer service on Sunday, and several other local churches have reached out to provide their spaces. One church-going family was in their home when it was leveled by the storm, and two members of that family were airlifted to a hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, he said.

“It’s just a building, but I’m more worried about the people. There are a lot of people who are injured right now,” he said.

Here’s How You Can Help Victims of Tornadoes

Judge Kevin Bishop of the Graves County Circuit, who lives just outside Mayfield, said his family weathered the storm in a bathroom.

“We put a lot of pillows and blankets over people’s heads and prayed,” he said.

His home was slightly damaged, but the storm tore off the roof of the courthouse where he worked. He said it will take some time for Mayfield to recover.

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A car lies in the wreckage caused by a tornado in Bowling Green, Kentucky, Saturday, December 11, 2021.

“We are strong, we will work together, but it will be a long time,” he said.

Courtney Saxton, 38, and her five children got into the tub to try to stay safe during the collision. When she emerged, the roof of her Mayfield home was gone. The Saxton family sought shelter Saturday night at St. Jerome at the nearby Fancy Ranch.

Her children, between the ages of 3 and 13, are adjusting to their new surroundings. A TV shows children’s movies and a table is decorated with coloring books, crayons and games. The children were not injured, but she recalled their horror.

“They were scared, screaming, crying,” she said. “It was terrible. I tried to reassure them, but the whole time I was praying. I knew that God would see us.”

Her husband, Mark, was working at a candle factory and was trapped under the debris for hours before being rescued. He has cuts and scrapes but it’s okay.

“He called us raucously, screaming and crying because he was stuck,” she said. “I was scary because I was thinking, ‘God, is he going to make it? So I also prayed with him on the phone. I just kept talking to him, constantly talking. tell him that God will do it. stay strong, don’t give up, keep fighting.”

https://www.kcra.com/article/in-storm-s-aftermath-kentucky-residents-struggle-with-loss/38492723 In the aftermath of the storm, Kentucky residents grapple with loss

JOE HERNANDEZ

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