Volunteers pour in to help storm victims clean up in Estill County

Published: Mar. 3, 2017 at 12:27 PM EST
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Cleanup continues in Estill County from the devastation caused by straight line winds earlier this week.

The Estill County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) says the number of people impacted by Wednesday's storm has more than doubled. Crews are just now getting started on cleanup, and it's going to be a long process.

"I've been with Emergency Management 13 years, and we've never dealt with something like this," said Melissa Jessie with Estill County EMA.

Wednesday winds came roaring through Estill County on Wednesday morning, destroying nearly 20 homes and leaving people without a place to live. Almost 200 others have some level of damage leaving a mess throughout the county.

Because there was such a high level of destruction in the Ravenna city limits, that's where emergency management focused their cleanup efforts on Friday.

Close to 40 volunteers, including people who have damaged homes of their own, are working hard on cleanup. Most of the efforts are focused on Main Street in Ravenna and on Cantrill Street.

"Oh, yeah. This is a small community everybody knows everybody, and that's not unusual," Jessie said. "I mean, we help each other. We all work together. It's typical small town America. You know your neighbors. You go next door to borrow sugar, so everybody always. Everybody helps each other here."

The damage assessment for the county isn't complete. So far, officials say the storm destroyed 18 homes and damage 175. Those numbers could grow. Emergency Management asks anyone with damage that has not notified them to call and let them know.

88 people in the county are still without power. Officials expect those people to have power by the end of the day.

EMA isn't sure how long cleanup is going to take.