Magoffin County tornado victims share tales of survival

By: Elizabeth Dorsett Email
By: Elizabeth Dorsett Email

"I mean, can you imagine anyone living through that?," excliamed Chico Helton, who was looking at what was his mobile home.

All that's left there is broken lumber; his mattress rests in tree tops nearly 100 yeards away.

"It used to be a beautiful home, now it's nothing but a pile of rubble," Helton said.

Helton had just left his home to run to the store, leaving his paraplegic sister, fiancee and her father inside when the tornado hit Friday night.

"Came back and this is all we had left. My sister, she was trapped right over there..." Helton said, while pointing out what used to be a bedroom.

"We're lucky to be alive, every one of us."

The same sentiments ring true at St Luke's Catholic Church where parishoners and volunteers alike are tearing down, finishing the tornado's work.

"Seven people took shelter in there that night," Father Bob Damron said while pointing to the bathroom in the concrete basement of the building. There is nothing at all left above. The small parish is gone.

Damron continued, "One of our parishoners and her family and people just driving by.... They saw the storm come over that mountain."

While most hung on for dear life, all say they have the same purpose now.

"Yeah, we're gonna rebuild!" Damron exclaimed.

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