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Martin Co. one year after 2012 tornado outbreak

By: Hillary Thornton Email
By: Hillary Thornton Email

MARTIN COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - There were no lives lost in Martin County... but there were several families left with nothing but each other. Now one year later that community is showing signs of progress as many homes have been rebuilt.

The damage is still visible with downed trees and debris lying along the mountainside, and as James Hensley explains the memories are all still vivid, "The wind blew me in, threw me on the floor, and all I could see was the roof coming in on me."

Hensley says he remembers brushing himself off and finding his friend beneath her collapsed home, " I just hugged her and said thank God that He was watching over you, and took her and put her in the car and wiped the blood off of her and started yelling for help."

This was the scene across much of Martin County after the twister hit.
Trinity Freewill Baptist Church became the center of relief for the community as the only structure in the area to have electricity for days. The church provided three meals a day for approximately 350 people and helped those who lost their homes rebuild.

Pastor Ellis Maynard says, "It really touches your heart when you look at how much other people sacraficed to help these people who have lost everything."

Hensley now has a roof over his head thanks to the generosity of others, "They fixed this up for me, I love it, I wouldn't take nothing for it, the Lord has been so good to me, I wouldn't turn back on him for nothing."

With so much loss, because they are alive, the victims say there is certainly reason to be thankful. Betty Lowe says, "Thank the Lord for that, that's the most important part, other stuff you can put it back."

While the folks living in the damaged areas say there are signs of progress they know there are still several hard days to come as they continue to pick up the pieces.

The folks in Martin County say they are grateful to everyone who stepped in to help not only from the area but from all areas of Kentucky and across the United States.


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