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Help is on the way to Mayfield, but a long recovery is ahead

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Posted at 9:36 PM, Dec 14, 2021

MAYFIELD, Ky. (LEX 18) — Downtown Mayfield and beyond is a physical shell of what it was less than one week ago.

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A town first established nearly 200 years ago is in ruins.

“The buildings especially. You know what that is, but some of them, you’re like ‘what was that?’ said Melinda McAlpin, a Mayfield native.

“Tore me up. I go through town, and I don’t wanna go through town now. It’s not the town I’m used to,” said Jim Richeal.

Jim Richeal grew up in Mayfield. His kids and grandkids live here. Right now, it’s hard to recognize home.

“It don’t even seem like Christmas. Don’t even seem like it,” said Richeal.

He and five other loved ones were packed under a mattress when the storm hit. Their house is still standing, but his workspace is ruined.

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“And I ain’t got much of a garage left. And that’s what I make my living out of,” said Richeal.

Just up the road from Richeal's house is where McAlpin’s parents live, or at least used to. Their home was damaged in the storm, so she flew up from Florida to help them out.

Her parents do have somewhere to stay, and for that she is thankful. But when she thinks about what happened to her hometown, McAlpin gets emotional.

“It’s heartbreaking because it will never be the same,” said McAlpin.

She’s also thinking of those far less fortunate who lost more than a home.

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“We ask that everybody pray for our community. When you come home, it’s heartbreaking to see everybody hurting,” said McAlpin.

McAlpin and Richal are also thankful for all the volunteers who have come to help the community clean up. There are also a number of organizations that have set up shop in town to provide food for volunteers and those who lost their homes.

The clean-up and recovery will take time, but there are many people eager to help the town get back on its feet.

WAYS TO DONATE: For a full list of ways to donate/help click here.

Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund

Western KY Red Cross Disaster Relief Fundraiser

United Way of Kentucky

Kentucky United Tornado Disaster Relief Telethon

Salvation ArmyGlobal Giving: Midwest US Tornado Relief Fund

Convoy of HopeUK College of Medicine's Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund

Kentucky Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster

Kentucky Baptist Disaster ReliefIslamic Relief USA

Mayfield Graves County Tornado Relief

Other Fundraisers Verified by GoFundMe