People in Salyersville thankful to be alive after tornado

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

Officials in Magoffin County say there were no storm related deaths but lots of destruction.

People are assessing the damage and trying to salvage whatever they can. Many people say they are just thankful to be alive.

Pine Points Apartments were one of the areas hit hard. Lana Johnson's top floor apartment is gone. She was hiding in the bathtub when the storm hit.

"Hearing popping and cracking, once it silent, I got out, and I could see the roof in the living room," Johnson said.

Down the road, Donnie Fletcher's apartment also fell apart around him.

"I was pinned to the floor on my back, my blocks caving in from the basement covering me up. Once it removed the apartment, all I see around was electrical lines flying and debris flying everywhere," Fletcher said.

Both Fletcher and Johnson were rescued.

Dozens of others lost homes in Salyersville and were rescued. Officials say many were injured, but there is no word on the number of injuries or the extent.

Most of the businesses on Route 114 to the Mountain Parkway are flattened. Some churches are destroyed. The Salyersville Grade School, Herald Whitaker Middle School, and Magoffin County High School are also damaged.

"I don't know how to describe it. It's devastating to the community, but I don't know how to describe it," said Sheriff Carson Montgomery.

Crews from several different counties are helping restore power and water and doing whatever else is needed.

A shelter is set-up at the Community Center.

Those who lost everything say they are still thankful.
"I thank God for watching us. I'm glad to be alive with my children," said Johnson.

Officials say it will be a long road to recovery.

School Superintendent Joe Hunley says there will most likely be no school in Magoffin County all week. He says they are assessing what to do with the school buildings the rest of the school year.

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