Martin County tornado survivors rebuilding

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

Relief efforts continue in the Lovely and Beauty areas of Martin County where an EF-2 tornado ripped apart more than 100 homes.

Rebuilding is underway, and some people even have new walls up on heavily damaged homes.

Pieces of the damaged homes are strewn all over the area. The couch James Jude was sitting in minutes before the tornado hit is on Walnut Street.

"I feel lucky, and I feel lucky my boy's here too," said Jude.

He had just run into another room as the wall ripped off his home.

"It scared me. My boy, he was in the middle room. I thought he got blown out. I thought he was dead," said Jude.

Jude found his 26 year old son outside.

"It was a big relief. He started hollering and I did too, and my neighbors, I thought they were gone. I looked out and their house was completely gone. After awhile, I seen them come out of the basement," Jude said.

One building with no damage at all is the Trinity Freewill Baptist Church, where the relief efforts are underway.

"It's a sign this is where God wanted us to be at. If you've noticed the devastation, it's like God held his hand and said, I need this after this happens," said Pastor Ellis Maynard.

The church is providing meals and other necessities to the devastated community.

"We're here for the long haul. It's gong to be six months, eight months, maybe even a year down the road that these folks are going to have to have help," said Maynard.

Anyone in Martin County who needs help with shelter, clothing, food, or water, can contact the Emergency Management Office at 606-298-2088.

There is also a boil water advisory in Martin County due to tornado damage in the county.

Martin County Emergency Management officials say people with storm debris need to put it by the road for a contractor to pick up. People can also drop off storm debris at the Martin County fairgrounds on Route 645 in Inez.

Emergency Management officials are also asking for volunteers to help with clean-up on Saturday. Volunteers should meet at the Martin County Courthouse at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, March 10th. Please bring trash bags, shovels, rakes, work gloves and other tools or equipment that will be helpful.

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