Areas of Johnson County hit hard by storms

By: Whitney Burks Email
By: Whitney Burks Email

Parts of Johnson County are picking up the pieces Saturday after the devastating storms moved through.

Most of the damage in Johnson County appears to be in the Hager Hill area along Middle Fork Road as well as in West Van Lear. Most of the homes on Middle Fork Road were leveled. The people who live in those areas say they are just starting to try to pick up the pieces of their lives.

People say they have never seen anything like it.

"I just seen a lot of debris flying by my house and everything, and it was a pretty scary feeling," said Richard Reil.

"It's just something we ain't used to. Everything's destroyed," said Nathan Jarrell.

Storms blew through Johnson County Friday night, leaving behind them a path of destruction.

"To come out and just see the devastation that it done, it just amazes me that something like this would happen in eastern Kentucky," said Reil.

The storms destroyed homes and businesses in Hager Hill and West Van Lear.

Officials say the storms are being blamed for two deaths on Middle Fork Road, 20 year old Gregory Perry and 16 year old Sean Shepherd. Perry's friends say they knew he was home during the storm, and when they didn't hear from him they got worried. They started looking for him around 9 o'clock Friday night.

"A bunch of friends and family members of mom's and stuff got together, and we found him at 6:00, about 6:10 this morning," said Jarrell.

Now they are mourning the loss of the two young lives but say they are thankful it was not any worse.

"Try to keep going. We'll have to pick up the pieces and go on," said Reil.

Johnson Central High School is open as a shelter for anyone who needs to stay there, and some ministries are delivering supplies for those affected by the storms.

Officials say they are still trying to figure out exactly how many people were hurt in the county from the storms.

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