Tornado victims begin recovery process - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Tornado victims begin recovery process

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PADUCAH, Ky. -- About a dozen homeowners spent Friday salvaging what they could, after an EF 2 tornado roared through McCracken County Thursday. The damage at each home is a little different but the recovery effort is the same: family, friends, and neighbors coming together to pick up the pieces.

"You know the neighbor when he first called he said it looked like part of the roof was gone," said Mark Holmes. "I was thinking, 'Oh it won't be too bad, I'll go check on it,' and of course once I turned into the driveway it was like, 'Oh, that's a little bit more than a roof.'"

The tornado knocked over fencing at his home on Moore Road, and ripped off the roof. It also shattered windows and threw around belongings in his living room. But, Holmes says he's staying positive.

Holmes said, "It's hard to imagine even building it back. The good Lord's always been good to me so there's probably a purpose. I'm probably not the worst damaged house I can imagine."

10 year old Lille Easley also rolled up her sleeves to help a pair of homeowners very special to her.

"My grandparent's house has been there my whole life and I just didn't want it to be destroyed," said Easley.

The tornado tore off the roof and toppled a large tree that once stood in the front yard. Easley's grandfather was home at the time.

"My first reaction was I just started to cry and I just had to see my grandparents," she said. "So when I knew they were okay, I just started helping them."

Larry McGregor's dad also experienced that frightening moment.

"The door had blew open and he saw just a piece of board from the neighbor's house flying," said McGregor. "The next thing he knew, it hit. And he was holding, keeping that door closed, just hanging on for dear life."

Incredibly, there were no reports of any serious injuries at any of the homes damaged.

McGregor said, "The Lord was watching him I guess. It was just a miracle."

The focus now is on recovery. The long process is just getting underway.

"I mean it's bad. Don't get me wrong, it's bad," said Holmes. "But you know there's always tomorrow and nobody's hurt. So we'll rebuild, we'll go on. Life's a four letter word so don't ever forget that."

Insurance adjusters also visited the properties Friday. Homeowners tell News 3, they're waiting for guidance on how they should move forward with rebuilding their houses.

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