Tornado Outbreak

Search efforts continued this week as residents and communities began the long road to recovery after the deadliest U.S. tornado outbreak in a decade.

In Mayfield. KY, one of the hardest hit cities, bulldozers, back-hoes, loaders and bobcats have hauled away what’s left of destroyed homes and businesses.The scope of the devastation is mind boggling to many who see it. “We lost everything,” said Beatrice Valero, 42. “It’s very hard but were glad and we’re thankful to God that we’re alive.”All but the two back bedrooms of the home where she raised her six children are gone, along with almost everything inside of it.

In heavily damaged Mayfield, Kentucky, there was some good news – officials believe all 110 workers at Mayfield Consumer Products have been accounted for. Eight deaths were confirmed at the site of the candle factory where employees were working around the clock to meet the holiday demand.

Even citizens that are not local to Mayfield, Kentucky, can help with the reconstruction of the community. Amanda Dalton, junior said, ” They can donate to organizations that seek to help the victims.” These organizations include Salvation Army, Cleanup Crisis, and American Red Cross.

The tornado that ravaged western Kentucky was a monster, an EF-3 storm with winds of 136 to 165 miles per hour. With a footprint of up to three-quarters of a mile wide, it shredded warehouses and houses along a path of more than 220 miles.

“It was kind of a no-brainer as far as issuing a warning goes,” said Michael York, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Paducah, Ky. “It was one of those that is impossible to miss if you have any training at all.”