Kentucky’s Tornado Aftermath – How You Can Help

Last week was truly chaotic between Ava’s early arrival and the tornadoes that tore their way through our region.

I still cannot believe this amount of destruction happened so close to our home.

All the following photos were taken from those shared by friends on Facebook. I do not take credit for these photos and will only post credit to these private Facebook users at their request.
Can you imagine your home being demolished in seconds? So. So. Sad.
Continuing the search for victims and survivors using canine officers.
Notice the red car has been completely flattened.
The remains of a local eatery known as "Freezer Fresh" - I've probably ate here 150 times!
This was once the town's H&R Block office.
This is an overturned police car that had responded to the first touchdown.

Another car flipped on it's side.
Even the town cemetery suffered damages.
A destroyed church at the main intersection in town.
The aftermath of a trailer park in the heart of town.
Destroyed homes right off the town's main drag.

Damaged apartments.
And the town's small hospital was also the scene of damage.
But West Liberty was not the only town hit by the twister- many small, rural communities were also devastated by the storms.
And numerous cell phone service towers were flattened.

And finally…

The best image of them all: trucks full of clean, bottled water and other supplies to benefit the amazing workers and the families in need.

I had to ride out the storm at my part time job in Sandy Hook. I was calm the entire time- but it wasn’t until the next day that I realized just how lucky I had been. The map below shows just a few locations where tornado and wind damage occurred – you can sort of map the path of the twister that touched down in West Liberty which passed only a few miles from my location in Sandy Hook. A co-worker and I were both experiencing extreme sinus pressure – which I hear often happens when the barometric pressure drops when a tornado develops.

So scary to think about how close I came to being in the path of destruction.

So, we ended up losing mobile phone reception, Internet connectivity and long-distance calling (some people in the region where totally without phone and electric – even those who managed to survive the destruction) for only a day or two. I am amazed at how quickly both the cell towers and Internet was restored – I was sure it would be weeks before any of those were restored (I should mention that our Internet Service Provider’s main office was located at ground zero on Main Street in West Liberty). It really speaks volumes for how hard all the amazing rescue teams, utility workers, emergency services, the National Guard and countless volunteers have done to restore communications so that families in the region can get word to their families across the nation and the globe.

So many families have lost their homes and vehicles. And even the places that they worked have been virtually wiped off the map. Though some may be able to pick up the pieces, others will never be able to rebuild and many may be displaced to new locations. In the meantime, they can use all the help they can get. You can call 800-RED-CROSS for details on how you can help out.

However, you can also donate clothing and food at many locations throughout the region – if you’re a local. I haven’t got much to give except some clothes that no longer fit. I’m spending my Monday washing the clothes and plan to drop them off before work on Tuesday.

If you would like to donate clothing or food- or anything else- please email us at hipearthdesigns@gmail.com and I’ll do my best to direct you to your nearest donation center. My Uncle is also a member of the West Liberty/Morgan County Emergency Response Team so I’ll post additional updates here or on the Facebook page to let you know how you can help.

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