Devastated Kentucky tornado survivors pick through debris, shelter with relatives

Kenkucky residents, many without power, gas or even a roof over their heads, woke on Sunday to a landscape scarred by a string of powerful tornadoes that officials fear killed at least 100 people while obliterating buildings, homes and anything else in their way.
Authorities said they had little hope of finding survivors beneath the rubble. Instead rescue workers, volunteers and residents were due to begin the long process of recovering what they could and clearing out fields of debris.
At least 100 people were believed to have been killed in Kentucky alone after the tornadoes tore a 200-mile (320-km) path through the U.S. Midwest and South on Friday night. Six workers were killed at an Amazon warehouse in Illinois. A nursing home was struck in Missouri. More than 70,000 people were left without power in Tennessee.
But nowhere suffered as much as the small town of Mayfield, Kentucky, where the powerful twisters, which weather forecasters say are unusual in winter, destroyed a candle factory and the fire and police stations. Across the town of 10,000 people in the state’s southwestern corner, homes were flattened or missing roofs, giant trees had been uprooted and street signs were mangled.
People combed through the rubble of their homes for belongings until night fell on Saturday. Then the power-deprived town was mired in darkness, save for occasional flashlights and emergency vehicle headlights.
Janet Kimp, 66, and her son Michael Kimp, 25, survived by hunkering down in their hallway – the only part of the house where the roof or the walls did not come crashing down, she said on Saturday.
This was but the latest disaster to afflict her: Kimp said her house burned down years ago, and then she had to file for bankruptcy following her husband’s death.
“I’ve lost it all again,” Kimp said as she stood in the remnants of her living room, where furniture was overturned and debris littered the ground. She stayed the night at her daughter’s house in Mayfield, which was spared.
Down the road, war veteran Robert Bowlin, 59, and his son Christopher Bowlin, 24, were hard-boiling eggs on a campfire outside their home. They used wood from a tree that had collapsed, narrowly avoiding their house. — Reuters

Show More
Back to top button