BREMEN, Ky. (WEHT) Today marks one month since a tornado tore through a more than 200 mile stretch of western Kentucky, damaging many communities and causing dozens of deaths.
More than 70 people died during the tornado that touched down on the night of December 10th. Mayfield, Dawson Springs and Bremen were among the communities that saw the most damage. The road to recovery is still going on in parts of Hopkins, Muhlenberg and Ohio Counties that were in its path.
Much of the debris has been cleared out since the tornado hit, the damage is still visible. While the recovery process continues, the road to it still has a ways to go.
You can still see the remnants of last month’s tornado damage going down roads like Kentucky 81 in Bremen. It’s a road to recovery residents say could take years.
“Not for a long time it won’t,” said Donald Reno of Bremen, when asked when the town will return to normal. “Take two or three years to get everything back to normal. It was tore up so much.”
“Ultimately, it will be heart wrenching for a lot of folks coming back, if they ever do to places they once called home that are no longer standing,” adds Jessica Noffsinger. Her family’s home, which they bought last April, was damaged. She’s thankful for the help from family, friends and volunteers in cleaning up.
“We have had people show up from miles away, over 100 miles to help cut trees and move them to the yard, or in front of the yard so the state workers can haul it off,” she recalled.
Officials in Hopkins and Ohio County say debris removal is still happening and they’re still working to help the hundreds displaced by the tornado. More than 600 people in Hopkins county and 50 families in Ohio county were displaced.
Jordan Baize is also in the early stages of rebuilding after going viral on social media playing a gospel hymn on a piano in the middle of the damage. Since playing at the Grand Ole Opry to raise awareness for tornado victims, two separate funds, one started by him through his church, another by singer Jason Crabb, raised a total of $150,000.
“The way people have given, and the way that we hope to give back through these funds is really exciting,” he said. “I think the spirit of this community is so, so strong, maybe even stronger from after what has happened.”
As for the piano he used last month, Baize says there are plans to donate it to a local museum, where there are plans to turn it into a piece of art.
(This story was originally published on January 10, 2022)