Kentuckians continue work to rebuild 6 months after December tornado outbreak

People in Taylor County continue their work to rebuild six months after the devasting December 2021 tornado outbreak in Kentucky.
Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 11:30 AM EDT
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TAYLOR COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - People in Taylor County continue their work to rebuild six months after the devasting December 2021 tornado outbreak in Kentucky.

That rebuilding process could still take months.

One family, the Wilsons, lost their home, but they say they have found blessings in the rebuilding process.

Holly Wilson says her family of five wasn’t home when the tornado went through, they just happened to be staying with friends. They didn’t have a basement and questioned if they even would have survived had they been here.

“The fact that we were at our friends’ house with their friends when this happened, was a Godsend in and of itself,” Wilson said. “They had people there to support them.”

After the storm, all that was left of their home was a concrete slab and some bricks. They are rebuilding on the same property but in a different place. That’s so they can have a basement and even a concrete enclosed safe room.

Six months later, their new home is taking shape:

While some people have moved away, other homes are going up in the area, in addition to the Wilsons. Some people tell us the process to rebuild has been expensive, with the cost of supplies increasing since the storm happened.

“Insurance has been wonderful. They have been great. They can only do as much as our policy says,” Holly Wilson said. “So, inflation is crazy right now. It’s going to cost us double to build our house what we bought our property for a year ago. We’d only been here a year. In December, was a year what we had been here.”

Taylor County officials have said the tornado destroyed dozens of homes and buildings and killed one person.

The county’s emergency management director says losses in that community will take at least a year to completely recover from. He says many are discovering that insurance and FEMA aren’t enough to cover their losses.

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