NewsCovering Kentucky


Scars remain in East Bernstadt 8 years after tornadoes

Posted at 6:25 PM, Mar 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 05:52:57-05

EAST BERNSTADTD, Ky. (LEX 18) — Eight years ago today, powerful tornadoes swept through Menifee, Morgan, Magoffin and Laurel counties. Those tornadoes killed more than 20 people.

Six of those people were killed in East Bernstadt, a small community that was hit especially hard by the tornadoes.

Nanny Maria Hensley considers herself a lucky survivor. Her small neighborhood on Little Arthur Ridge Road was rocked by the tornadoes.

"It was a miracle that it didn't kill us, or the people next door to us," Hensley noted.

Hensley said the tornadoes sounded like "a freight train" and said she remained inside huddling her grandchildren while the tornadoes tore through the community.

"It's all I could do," Hensley reflected. "I had them in the tub, I had a mattress over them."

When the nightmare was over, the roof on Hensley's home was gone and the whole neighborhood was heavily damaged.

Since then, Hensley noticed people in the area look out for each other more and there's a deeper sense of community because they all experienced one of their darker days together.