Kentuckians reflect on social media to tornado outbreak

By: Michelle Heron Email
By: Michelle Heron Email

HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT)- The events that unfolded one year ago are ones that not only left their mark on the Eastern Kentucky region physically, but also emotionally.

In fact, many remember the devastation as if it happened yesterday.
We wanted to know what you remember from that painful day, so we asked on our WYMT Facebook and Twitter pages to share your encounters.

"Something we can't ever forget..." Dotty Meek wrote.

A short, yet powerful sentence that describes how people across the mountains reflect back to March 2, 2012.

Several tornadoes ripped through the area, killing 24 people and leaving devastation across parts of Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia and Virginia.

As the storms rolled into the region, many scrambled to find safe shelter.

Audry Wyatt from Harrogate, Tennessee wrote, "…my husband and I grabbed our little dog and ran downstairs to our bathroom…"

Rebekah Mortimer of Salyersville added, "I was at work at Dairy Queen.. We had about 15 people in the cooler, plus more in the hallway. State police also pulled people off the road to seek shelter there with us."

Others recall not knowing what happened to their loved ones back home.

"I was 25 miles away, not knowing if my family was alive. When I finally made it to the house, it was destroyed. My fear was they were dead in that house. When I walked to the community center where a shelter has been set up, I saw the faces of my wife, 3 year old and 7 year old. They were okay," Kenny Mcfarlan of Salyersville wrote.

But one thing Mother Nature couldn’t shake was the Kentucky spirit. As soon as the storms passed, communities immediately banded together, working side by side to help one another.

Holly Gilkey King wrote, "I'm so proud of the first responders and volunteers who came together that tragic day to put this community back together."

The region has overcome so much in the last year and still has a long way to go.

But one thing is for certain, we will never forget the raw destruction from that day, or the lives that were lost.


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