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Mayfield residents struggling with aftermath of tornado

The utilities grid in Mayfield, Ky. was severely damaged by the tornado that struck the city on...
The utilities grid in Mayfield, Ky. was severely damaged by the tornado that struck the city on the night of Friday, December 10, 2021.(Source: Josh Whitney, WAVE 3 News)
Published: Dec. 12, 2021 at 2:42 PM EST
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MAYFIELD, Ky. (WAVE) - Less than 48 hours after a massive tornado struck Mayfield, heavy equipment rolled into the city to clear rubble and start rebuilding. But the power grid has been destroyed, and the extent of the damage throughout the city is extensive. Residents are left asking what’s next and how do they cope.

“We’ve seen SARS, we’ve seen AIDS, even this pandemic, but this by far...” trailed off C.E. Mines, a Mayfield resident.

Mines struggled to find the right words to describe the disaster that’s unfolded in Mayfield.

“It’s immediate, upfront, and devastating throughout,” said Mines.

This home is one of the many structures in Mayfield, Ky. heavily damaged or destroyed by the...
This home is one of the many structures in Mayfield, Ky. heavily damaged or destroyed by the tornado that hit the city late on Friday, December 10, 2021.(Source: Josh Whitney, WAVE 3 News)

His wife was one of the emergency room doctors called in to treat victims of the tornado.

“She said she started pronouncing people dead, one after the other, and the thing that hurts us the most, she said she pronounced two kids dead,” said Mines.

Beyond the human toll, the damage to the city seems immeasurable. National Weather Service staffers snapped pictures to gauge the strength of the storm. But block after block, the scale of the cleanup is measured by images. Images of an excavator convoy rattling down streets pushing rubble aside, dump trucks quickly filled with debris as the wreckage of churches, the post office, and apartments wait to be cleared.

“I couldn’t tell you how long I was under the door, but when I come to, just damage everywhere,” said Larry Hawkins, another Mayfield resident.

Hawkins survived being pinned in his shop. He was picking up paper plates, toilet paper, and other essentials from a donation site at the county fairgrounds.

“We don’t even have water, out where we’re at, the water plant was hit hard enough it took it out, we got busted lines everywhere, it could be weeks,” said Hawkins.

Mines said they were prepared for the storm. They were not prepared for its aftermath.

“This is truly a disaster, and I don’t know what or how as an individual to deal with what we have been dealing with,” said Mines.

Donations of food, clothing, emergency supplies, bread even, is going to help people in the immediate aftermath of this storm. But the recovery will take some time and how long people can hold out is an unanswered question.

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Get the WAVE 3 News app on ROKU, Apple TV and Fire TV.(Source: WAVE 3 News)

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