(LEX 18)– Tomorrow marks seven years since tornadoes tore through parts of southern and eastern Kentucky, leaving behind major damage.
The first tornado hit West Liberty on February 29, 2012. Then an EF-3 tornado hit on March 2, 2012. More than 20 people were killed and dozens more injured.
There was also major damage, some of which still hasn’t been completely repaired. The town even lost 30% of its population following that tragedy.
The March 2, 2012 tornado changed the town and changed its landscape. It changed how its residents view life.
“Truly believe we experience a form of PTSD. Something we cannot control. Year after driving down 519 knowing there was no warning but the cloud formation that day, was just as vivid as when we had our tornado,” said Mayor Mark Walter.
The mayor said that his most graphic memory from that time is that of his church steeple laying on the ground. The church has been rebuilt.
Six people died in the EF-2 tornado that tore through East Bernstadt on that same day. Little Arthur Ridge Road took the brunt of that tornado.
The twister swept homes right off their foundations, including the mobile home of Wayne and Debbie Allen. They died when their home was tossed over the ridge.
Some neighbors have since put in storm shelters.
“It doesn’t bring back very pleasant memories, but glad we lived through it. We got in the hall and did a lot of praying, it didn’t last long, but it was very loud,” said tornado survivor Judy Bohinkski.