State police plant tree in memory of tornado victims

WEST LIBERTY, Ky. (WKYT) - It's a way to honor victims after a tornado devastated their community.

Kentucky State Police planted a tree at Old Mill Park to honor the six people who died in the tragic storm on March 2 in West Liberty.

The crowd that gathered at the park Friday afternoon was made up of city and county officials and police who were on the scene earlier this year.

"There was absolutely no doubt in my mind that this little town was going to be able to bounce back and do so quickly," said Lt. Sean Welch with Kentucky State Police

The ceremony is one of many planned for the community. The county judge executive says he wants memorials for everyone lost in the tornadoes as well as for each group of first responders.

"I want to tell you state police, you all mean something to Morgan County," said Judge Executive Tim Conley.

The Kentucky State Police were the force behind a coffee tree, planted and marked for the people of Morgan County.

"This was the first county that I worked when I came into the state police so I had a lot of strong emotional ties, not only to the county but particularly the people who lived out here," said Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer.

Brewer says the largest recorded coffee tree in Kentucky was at the Morgan County courthouse but was destroyed in the storms.

"It's going to take us eighteen to twenty-four months but, just like this tree, Morgan County and the city of West Liberty is going to regrow," Conley said.

Plans for another permanent memorial are already in the works and it will include debris from the storm.

A location for that memorial has not been chosen.

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