WEST LIBERTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Five months ago Thursday a tornado ripped several towns apart across the area. West Liberty was hardest hit and continues to recover. Six people lost their lives as a monster of a storm rolled over the mountains and reduced West Liberty to a pile of rubble.
"It was shocking and very gut wrenching when you pull on Main Street and everything is either gone or completely destroyed to the point where it's going to have to be torn down," says West Liberty resident Amy Baldwin.
The view from the sky showed miles and miles of snapped trees, homes and buildings shredded to pieces, and debris tossed everywhere.
"The top floor of the City Hall building suffered the most damage. Everything else got wet. Of course the snow that came on Monday, six inches, melted and everything had to be pretty well gutted. It was structurally safe but all of the sheet rock and everything had to be gutted and redone," say Baldwin.
The morning after that devastating tornado the damage was indescribable. And coming back several months later there are still huge piles of debris, structural damage, and streets lined with caution tape. But on the other hand, the sound of hammering and sawing fills the air, the roads are busy, and there are many signs of progress.
" It's a slow go at times but any signs of progress are wonderful. Anything that can get opened back up, it makes you feel a little bit better. I would say within a year you'll be able to tell a big difference. Some of these may not be back for 2-3 years," adds Baldwin.
It may take years to fix roofs and build walls but loved ones lost in this tragedy can never be replaced. Each month more businesses and homes are rebuilt. Soon the fire station that was heavily damaged will reopen to serve the community.