At least 75% of Dawson Springs (a Kentucky City) disappeared in just a few minutes. The tornado has destroyed houses, churches, factories and the hopes of hundreds of residents who since Friday have lived a “nightmare”, with many people still to be found.
After two days of cleaning, it is still almost impossible not to step on wood, pipes, clothes, personal objects and souvenirs when walking through what remains of this city.
Sheila Oliver, 50, is one of the people who saw her life fly away in this “nightmare”, which has left her homeless, without a car and with one of her two dogs seriously injured.
“The death figures they are giving are not real, there are many more”, this woman assures Efe, who has not yet had time to go to the federal authorities for help, because she has been dedicated to searching for her missing neighbors.
On Sunday, she dedicated a good part of the day to locating a boy of just two years who she heard crying under the rubble of a building and who was finally found already dead.
MORE THAN A HUNDRED MISSING IN KENTUCKY
The list of disappeared continues to exceed one hundred in Kentucky: Oliver herself has been part of that list and had to notify the authorities to remove her, after a neighbor included her when they did not know about her and see the status of her house, of which only the foundations, rubble and two golden chandeliers remain.
Others are gone forever, like Ernie, a Dawson Springs neighbor whose body was found in such bad shape, his face disfigured, that his daughter recognized him thanks to a tattoo.
From Friday night, Oliver only remembers the thunderous silence that remained after the passage of the tornado.
Quite the opposite of another neighbor: Lori Mullins does not forget the cries and cries for help when she managed to leave the house, and the ghostly panorama around her: “It was horrible”, she recalls in statements to Efe.
Mullins jumped out of bed at the sound of the warning sirens and took cover in a hallway, away from the windows, under a large cushion from her sofa. She prayed with a friend she spoke with on the phone while she felt the house shake and listened to the glass breaking.
NO TORNADO LIKE THE ONE ON FRIDAY
Although she has already survived several tornadoes, she says that none has been like the one that experienced last Friday, which in Kentucky alone has killed at least 74 people, according to the latest tally by authorities.
Another lucky person was Chris Hill, who was caught on the road by the tornado. When he arrived at his home, he discovered that it was one of the few that stood on his street, made up of one-story wooden houses.
His building was narrowly spared, as explained by his partner, Joseph, who explains to Efe that the house rose and fell, almost without being attached to the foundations and that it was about to fly off.
Finally the house came to rest on the ground, but not before receiving the impact of the structure of another house that destroyed the front porch.
HALF OF THE TOWN TURNED INTO “HOMELESS”
“We have been lucky. More than 50% of the townspeople are now homeless,” said Joseph.
Oliver, who lives a few meters from his house, is one of those people who have stayed on the street, she does not know what she is going to do, or what her life will become.
“You can’t escape the tornado”, she laments, hopeless.
At least she is alive, something she knows that many will not be able to say. “If the tornado didn’t kill them, they died of hypothermia.” Oliver says, alluding to the victims of the freezing temperatures that have been experienced since the tornado hit this small town, which had never suffered an extreme weather phenomenon like this one.
Friday’s will be remembered for decades.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.