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Survivors remember how they weathered '74 tornado super outbreak


STAMPING GROUND, Ky. (WKYT) - Forty years ago, 26 tornadoes hammered the Bluegrass state.

The tornadoes killed 77 people and caused over $100 million in damage, leading state officials to call it the worst storm disaster in state history.

It’s been four decades but Betty Kettenring still vividly remembers being gripped by fear as a monster tornado shredded her family's home in Stamping Ground.

"I was screaming, I was so afraid, I was so scared," she remembered.

She says she and her husband, along with their three young daughters, hid in a storm cellar and watched as their farm was ripped apart.

“The two rooms just turned over and over a couple times. We watched everything go away. We would have been over the hill if we had been in the mobile home. The root cellar was our salvation,” she said.

After the tornado passed, she says they realized all they had left was each other.

Everything they just bought two years ago: their house, barn and chickens were gone.

However, she says most importantly, they survived the super outbreak of tornadoes.

In two days, 148 tornadoes killed more than 300 people in the Midwest.

According to the National Weather Service, the massive F4 tornado that ripped through Stamping Ground was 800 yards wide and tore through Anderson, Franklin and Scott County, killing four people and destroying 120 homes.

Kettenring says it took them nine months to rebuild their house and their barn right where they stood before the storm hit.

She says it took them about a year to clean up the insulation that was tossed into fields from their destroyed barn.

She also says they found some cash they kept in their closet in a field three months after the tornado hit.

"We've been blessed these 40 years because we've bounced back," Kettenring said.

She says they bounced back because their family is stronger than brick and wood, so they're able to weather any storm.


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