Marking 5 years since historic tornado outbreak in Kentucky
Thursday marks five years since a historic tornado outbreak hit Kentucky.
On March 2, 2012, 18 tornadoes touched town across the state, impacting 27 different counties. Twenty-six people were killed and more than 200 injured.
West Liberty in Morgan County was hit especially hard. An EF-3 tornado with maximum winds of 140 miles per hour decimated much of the downtown area. The tornado was a mile wide. It first touched down near Mariba in Menifee County at 5:39 p.m. Nineteen minutes later, it slammed into downtown West Liberty. By 6:10 p.m. the tornado moved into western parts of Johnson County and Lawrence County before moving into West Virginia. Six people in Morgan County died because of the storm.
Magoffin County was also hit by an EF-3 tornado with maximum winds of 160 miles per hour. That tornado was on the ground for 49 miles across eastern Kentucky into West Virginia. It first touched down in Wolfe County at 6:50 p.m. before moving into Salyersville at 7:03 p.m.
East Bernstadt witnessed an EF-2 tornado with maximum winds of 125 miles per hour. The tornado was on the ground for only seven miles. Still, it was enough to cause a lot of damage and even proved to be deadly. Six people in Laurel County died as a result of the storms.
Other parts of Kentucky also witnessed the devastation. In Crittenden and Piner in northern Kentucky, an EF-4 tornado had winds topping 170 miles per hour. Four people died as a result of that tornado.
Thursday, Chief Meteorologist Chris Bailey and WKYT's Amber Philpott will be in West Liberty to look at the rebuilding effort in the community. They will also have stories from survivors who will talk about how that day in March five years ago changed their lives.