Morgan County survivor reflects on deadly West Liberty tornado 10 years later

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Posted at 9:58 PM, Mar 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-02 21:58:22-05

MORGAN COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — Ten years after surviving a direct hit from a tornado, Jane Murray still can’t shake what happened to her town. She thinks about it at random times, especially as this anniversary approaches.

The EF-3 tornado came on March 2nd, 2012. Murray was at home and stayed in a bathroom as the tornado hit.

“You'd hear something crash, then the roof peel off, and the garage peeled off, and the back porch peeled off, then it’s over, 2 minutes,” Murray said.

On Wednesday, years after moving to a new home, she sold the property where the old one stood. She says it wasn’t difficult because the pain she feels is less connected to her own experience and more connected to the impact the tornado had on the larger community, with the loss of many places she considers special.

“We don't have any big trees, and we don't have any old houses left, it's all gone, it’s tough,” she said.

6 people died in the tornado in Morgan County

“It went from the far western part of the county to the far eastern part of the county, destruction all through the county a mile wide,” said West Liberty 911 Chief John Conley

Murray says she’ll never forget looking at the town and being unable to find the Methodist church after the tornado, its steeple thrown across the street. Today, that steeple is rebuilt. New buildings have replaced some of the old ones.

“We're still recovering, we still have vacant lots that may not be filled again in my lifetime,” Conley said.