Laurel County family affected by tornado reflects on anniversary

EAST BERNSTADT, Ky. (WYMT) - The East Bernstadt area of Laurel County was hit very hard by the tornado outbreak one year ago.

Six people were killed there and dozens of homes were damaged or destroyed.

The Diaz family lives on Hensley Street in East Bernstadt, which is just outside of London.

The storm ripped the roof off the house while the Diazes were still inside. They saw the tornado coming before taking shelter.

"There was either an 18-wheeler trailer or a trailer in it," Freddie Diaz said, recalling seeing the tornado. "And I saw it multiple times as it was going around. Plain as day. I saw it in the twister."

So the Diazes grabbed their two kids and hunkered down in the back bedroom.

"You could look and see your hair raising up," Diaz said. "You could feel the hair on your head raising up. It was like a vacuum cleaner. I thought it was going to suck us out."

Everyone lived, but others in East Bernstadt were not as fortunate.

And even though the tornado caused $40,000 in damages to the Diazes' home, they rebuilt and said they are different people than one year ago.

"You have a greater empathy for people when they go through that," Michelle Diaz said. "Because you know. You can see it all day long on TV and be like 'I really hate that' but then you go through it, you're wanting to cry with them."

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