Friday, August 12, 2022

Survivors remember the first moments of panic when tornadoes hit

Clearing and recovery work is underway after devastating tornadoes that hit at least eight states over the weekend – and survivors describe the heartbreak, panic and heroism they witnessed in those first catastrophic moments.

In Kentucky, a factory worker told his own horrific story from the time the storms hit Mayfield.

Isaiah Holt was working at the Mayfield Consumer Products candle factory when the tornado sirens began on Dec. 10, he told The New York Times. Soon the storm flattened the plant, and Holt found himself under the rubble.

“I love you,” he said as he lay on the factory floor. “Each of you, I love you. I’m sorry. “

A Kentucky National Guard helicopter is investigating damage from a tornado near Mayfield Consumer Products in Mayfield, Kentucky, Dec. 11.

Brett Carlsen via Getty Images

Holt’s lungs were punctured and his ribs were broken, and eight workers died while hiding inside the factory.

“He told me he was feeling bad,” Holmes said. “I wanted to go to work, but it basically required me to stay home.”

Another Mayfield plant worker, Kyanna Parsons-Perez, told CNN she did her best not to panic as the building she was in was hit by a tornado.

“It happened very quickly,” Parsons-Perez said. “We all shook back and forth, then boom, everything fell on us.”

Jeremy Page, who moved to Mayfield a few weeks ago, told NBC News that the duo survived a storm that shook the foundation of his home as he lay in bed on Friday night.

According to CNN, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is assisting in clean-up operations and other measures such as finding the missing and assisting evacuees.

Kentucky was particularly hard hit. During a press conference, Governor Andy Besher (D) said at least 64 people had been killed in the state and 18 of the victims had not yet been identified.

“Those we know are between 5 months and 86 years old, and six are under 18 years old.” said Besher, struggling with visible tears.

Besher also said hundreds of people were missing and the death toll could rise.

In other states, at least 14 people were killed.

On Saturday, President Joe Biden approved a state of emergency in Kentucky.

“We will overcome this and overcome it together,” Biden told a news conference. “The federal government doesn’t want to leave.”

The president is expected to be in Kentucky on Dec. 15.

HuffPost has contacted several people in Kentucky and will update the story as more information becomes available.

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Nation World News Desk
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