Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Tornado Chronicles: West Liberty, KY Tornado of 3-2-12...

The following is an "uncut / unedited" version of the live blogging that took place surrounding the devastating West Liberty, KY tornado of March 2, 2012. Drop to the bottom of the post for the original posting, then you can see the updates as you scroll back up to the top.

***Also, I have credited all photos/videos whenever possible. Some of the photos were provided to me without any information for credit. If you took one of the photos in this blog and would like credit, please e-mail me your information and specify the photo (by referencing the date/time of the update under which the photo is posted).  On the same token, I would also be glad to remove the photo if you prefer, please be specific in your e-mail.***

3/2/13:  A post covering the 1 year anniversary and recovery effort can be found here...

------------------Now, back to the post that originated on 3/2/12:

3/17/12, 10am CST:

Melissa Rose's home in West Liberty was one of many destroyed by the tornado on March 2nd. An amazing story has now surfaced out of the tragedy, when the above picture of her niece and nephew was found 134 miles away in Sissonville, WV!


-One of the most popular questions that I am still receiving to date is "how can I help".  This post on the herald-dispatch.com pulls that information together nicely and was updated yesterday.

-In a related story, the Red Cross is reporting that donations have reached about $1 million at the Louisville chapter, to date.

-A temporary Courthouse is open for business.  The Morgan County office of the Circuit Court Clerk is open for business and providing full services out of a temporary location at 155 University Drive in West Liberty.  One of the most popular services provided so far has been replacing lost driver's licenses.  For information on court schedules and hearings you can call 606-743-3763.

-The West Liberty Elementary School is in need of a playground for their new (temporary) facility.  School starts back next week.  If you or someone you know would like to donate one, please contact principal Vickie Oldfield at vickie.oldfield@morgan.kyschools.us.  You can see the full story here at Lex18.com.



3/14/12, 2pm CST:
I apologize for not posting an update for the last 2 days.  I've been moving my office and trying to get things set up at the new location before the next major weather event takes place.  Here are a few noteworthy items since my last post/update:

-Blog reader Estill sent me this link to the Lexington Herald-Leader, which has several different photo albums of the tornado aftermath and recovery in West Liberty and other areas.

-Dr. David Fugate of the West Liberty Vet Clinic and other area veterinarians are busy taking care of lost and injured pets.  One amazing story of pet survival is that of "Twister" the horse, who was reportedly picked-up and dropped into the kitchen of his owner's home after the roof of was torn off.  You can see the video on that story by going here.

-Now that the region has been declared a FEMA disaster area, residents and business owners who sustained losses can begin applying for assistance.  Those who need assistance can register online at www.disasterassistance.gov, or by calling 1-800-621-3362.

-The Red Cross has now begun "one on one" case work in order to directly assist individuals and families in the West Liberty area.  Case workers are available to meet with those in need of help and provide assistance with replacing household goods, paying for or providing food and water, assistance with the financial needs of repairing a home or paying an insurance deductible, etc.

The Red Cross has established a Client Assistance Center at Morgan Central Elementary School in West Liberty, where individuals can meet with a case worker.  Case workers are also going door to door in neighborhoods where they can.  If you need to speak to someone with the Red Cross and have not been contacted, please call 1-800-696-3873.


3/11/12, 10am CST:
A dramatic compilation of videos from security cameras as the tornado tore through the West Liberty area:




...and here is the link to a related story by LEX18 TV.  Thanks to blog reader Scott for sending me the link!

In other news, please take a look at this story on recovering from a major tornado on Kentucky.com.  I can't stress enough the point (about midway through the story) regarding choosing a contractor carefully - and never handing over money until the job is complete.  Unfortunately, there are too many people out  there willing to take advantage of this type of situation.  This obviously applies to all of the areas stricken with tornado damage earlier in the month, not just the West Liberty area.


 
3/9/12, 5pm CST:
The West Liberty school district has announced that classes will resume on March 19th.  The Elementary school, district headquarters and many vehicles were heavily damaged or destroyed.  A vacant factory near the Elementary School is being converted into a temporary location where elementary classes can be held, as well as temporary housing for some of the district offices as well.  The full story from the courier-journal can be found here.


Also, blog reader CindyRella Whitcomb of the West Liberty area was kind of enough to send me the following damage photos that she took.  Please note the debris in the trees and in some cases wrapped around trees or poles:







3/7/12, 3pm CST:
Residents of West Liberty were being allowed back into most areas of town as of today, however the The Kentucky Department of Emergency Management cautions residents that many areas are still not safe due to debris, some of which could include potentially hazardous materials.



Vehicles wishing to enter the city are required to pass through a checkpoint, and must be able to show residency to be allowed in.  Officials encourage folks to come in groups and car pool if possible, so as to limit the number of vehicles that can safely pass through heavily damaged areas.


Banks were also opening temporary locations today, allowing customers to withdraw up to $500.00 at one time:

-Commercial Bank has a temporary location at 151 University Drive.  They also plan to open a 2nd temporary location near the IGA in Index tomorrow (Wednesday, 3/7/12).

-Citizens Bank customers can use branches located in Morehead, Owingsville and Sharpsburg.  

-Bank of the Mountains customers can use their non-downtown location in West Liberty, as well as their location in Ezel.


3/6/12, 7pm CST:
-The American Red Cross announced this afternoon that the shelter at Morgan Elementary school has been relocated to the Assembly of Faith Church at 558 Highway 519 in West Liberty.  This was effective 5pm CST this evening.  Approximately 60 people are staying at this shelter until they can find another place to stay.

-One of our blog readers in the West Liberty area e-mailed me to say that folks wishing to donate supplies (canned food, water, pet food, etc.), as well as those that need to pick up those types of supplies can go to the Woodsbend Community Church.  They also have limited space for anyone that needs a place to stay at night as well.  She also sent me some additional damage photos that I will get up on the blog tomorrow (I'm in a place with a very slow internet connection this evening, and it would take forever for me to upload them).

-A community-wide fundraiser has also been set for Saturday, March 24th.  It will take place at the Carl Perkins Center in Morehead, from Noon to dark.  The event will feature a chili dinner, silent auction and live performers.  All proceeds will go to benefit the victims of the West Liberty tornado.  Anyone wishing to donate items for auction or volunteer to perform should contact Darcy Gillock at (606) 356-3510.

-In case you missed it (in other parts of the country) yesterday, snow fell across the West Liberty area on Sunday night and early Monday:


The snow was not heavy by any means, but it did not help crews that were already struggling to return power, water and gas service as quickly as possible.  We've heard today (Tuesday, 3/6/12) that crews have made great progress during the last 24 hours, with some reports indicating that power has been restored to as many as 90 percent of the customers (that still have a structure with functioning electrical meters) in downtown West Liberty as of this afternoon.  It will take awhile longer to restore power to more of the outlying areas depending on the extent of the damage, debris removal, etc.

3/6/12, 2pm CST:

The total path length of the West Liberty tornado has been extended to 95 miles, as a survey across the West Virginia border indicates a preliminary ending point to the Southwest of Charleston.  It is possible that the ending point may be 10 to 15 miles further East/Northeast as well, and that possibility is still being surveyed.


3/5/12, 12:45pm CST:
Contractors are continuing to try and restore electrical and/or gas service to the downtown area. Kentucky State Police official report that once it is safe, they plan to loosen restrictions on folks coming into that part of town.

Also, the U.S. Postal Service says that they will attempt to deliver mail as normal in West Liberty this week. Mail for homes and/or businesses that are in a blocked-off part of town, and mail for locations that don't have a mailbox visible will be taken to the Campton Post Office where it can be picked-up by showing an I.D.


3/5/12, 7:50am CST:
Another video has emerged of the actual tornado itself. This video proves once again that even a terrain made up of large hills is no match for a strong tornado:




3/4/12, 3:50pm CST:
A new YouTube video has emerged, showing the "West Liberty tornado" near its beginning point (to the West) in Menifee County:





3/4/12, 3:25pm:
Some more interesting damage and tornado photos I've stumbled upon...
This is the house that Dayla McCarty was sheltered in during the tornado:



...and this was the picture she shot from the back porch as the tornado approached:



Thankfully, she and her family came through the event safely.

Here are a few photos of the damage at the Liberty Heights Apartments (taken by Alicia Wagoner, via facebook):






3/4/12, 2:55pm CST:
Now that communications are gradually coming back online and/or folks are being relocated to areas that have better communications, I'm told that the registry list on the Amercian Red Cross "Safe and Well" website is starting to grow.

If you have a family member or friend that you're wanting to check on, it's worth a try to see if they (or another immediate relative) have checked in via the "Safe and Well" list.  The link (which is on the American Red Cross website) is here.  You have to register yourself in order to view the registry list, but it only takes a minute or so.

If you live outside of Kentucky and want to help folks there or in one of the other tornado stricken areas, you may want to consider making a donation to the American Red Cross.  Once you go to the donation link, you can specify where you'd like your funds to go.



3/4/12, 2:15pm CST:
Another video has emerged of the tornado itself (or at least the top of it). The video appears to have been taken in front of the Potter Funeral Home (329 Glenn Avenue in West Liberty):



These folks are lucky. The tornado was moving right toward them, and debris could have fallen out of the sky at any time. "Don't try this at home..."

3/4/12, 7:35am CST:

To add insult to injury, a Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for the West Liberty area, mainly for tonight.

Sprinkles or flurries are possible today, with light snow expected to develop tonight.  1-3 inches of snow accumulation is possible tonight.



3/4/12, 7am CST:


The NWS survey team from the Jackson, KY office has completed its survey on the West Liberty tornado, up to a point on the East side of West Liberty. Presumably today they will finish up with the Eastern end of the track, which is shown on the image above.

The survey estimates the beginning point took place about 2 miles Southwest of Mariba in Menifee County at approximately 5:39 PM EST. The path length, so far, amounts to 34 miles with a maximum width in the damage path of 1 mile.

As I mentioned yesterday evening, the preliminary NWS survey rating of the tornado is EF-3 intensity, and the survey cites "estimated peak winds of 140 mph".  On the operational scale of EF-intensity, an EF-3 tornado is described as producing winds in the range of 136-165 mph.


3/3/12, 6:55 pm CST:
Depending on which national media source or local/state official you listen to, the death toll in West Liberty ranges from 1-5 at this hour.  I am simply amazed, and very grateful.  Although it is certainly a tragedy for the families and friends of those victims, if that really ends up being the final death toll, the city of West Liberty has much to be thankful for.  By all accounts, this was a very large and strong tornado which caused some form of damage to almost every structure in town (if not every one indeed).  I feared a death toll of 100+ when I saw and heard the first damage reports come in last night.  Thank goodness that did not come to pass.

With that said, the folks in West Liberty have a long road ahead of them, recovery wise.  We need to continue to keep this community, and their neighbors, in our thoughts and prayers.  

On another note... the National Weather Service (NWS) in Jackson, TN has rated the West Liberty tornado EF-3 intensity.  My e-mail inbox is flooded with requests for my feelings and/or commentary on that rating.  I obviously wasn't there on the ground participating in the survey.  With that said, I have seen several photos and video clips that suggest a higher rating was warranted.  I intend to look over this material in greater detail over the next day or so before making any further comments on that subject.


3/3/12, 4:25 pm CST:
New aerial video of the West Liberty damage. Kind of shaky at times, but very revealing. I intend to take a closer look at this and the other aerial videos and images that I've posted today and make some commentary in the next day or so:



Also, blog reader Scott just e-mailed me this link which contains videos (some of which are already scattered about within the post) of various interviews and damage scenes around the area.  I can't embed the videos, so here is the link.  Cautionary note:  a couple of the videos automatically play at the same time when you go to the link.  Just pause them all and start over to view them.



3/3/12, 4:15 pm CST:
The series of frames below show the radar imagery from the Jackson, KY radar site as the tornadic supercell responsible for producing the West Liberty tornado moved into the area.  The images begin at 5:29 pm EST, and end at 6:10 pm EST and are in roughly 5 minute intervals.

I'll first run the sequence in order so you can see the progression without interruption.  West Liberty is located near the center of each image (West Liberty and other city names noted in white lettering).  Click on the images to enlarge:














As the tornado picked up a large amount of debris in and near West Liberty, a radar signature known as a "debris ball" became visible.  I've circled the debris ball in white on the images below, which are duplicates of the 5:56, 6:01 and 6:05 pm EST radar images:




A debris signature is detected on radar when the tornado has lifted up large amounts of debris and is carrying it along as it moves forward.  Radar energy is bounced off of the debris and returned back to the radar, resulting in the signature.

I'll make a separate post later on with more detailed analysis of the radar imagery, including velocity (wind speed and direction) images.


3/3/12, 4pm CST:
Via Lex18, the Morgan County ARH Hospital in West Liberty sustained significant damage from the tornado yesterday.  All second floor windows were blown out, there was extensive damage to the roof and exterior doors, and cars were flipped in the parking lot.  No patients or staff were injured according to the report.

The emergency room of the hospital is reportedly treating patients at this time, but no one is being admitted.  Inpatients are being transferred to other hospitals in neighboring areas.

3/3/12, 3pm CST:
I would expect to see network news coverage this evening on CBS, CNN, the WeatherChannel and NBC, from what I'm hearing.  All of those networks have crews arriving in West Liberty as we speak (I believe the WeatherChannel will be doing the work for NBC as well as their own network).


3/3/12, 1:35pm CST:
Some very high resolution photos just posted on twitter (via @angelabeavin), show a closer view of a couple of the buildings that we posted photos of last night:


Commercial Bank

Methodist Church

...and this photo was also posted (source unknown) showing an aerial view looking down main street:


...another aerial photo downtown, source unknown:




3/3/12, 12:35pm CST:




Aerial video (looks like it was taken by a smartphone) of National Guard flying in to West Liberty earlier today.  The video link is here.


Next is a new YouTube video showing the damage coming into town near the hospital:




Also, TV Station LEX13 (in Lexington, KY) recently posted to their facebook page that a crew they have in the West Liberty area said that survivors were still being found and pulled out of damaged homes and buildings this morning.  That's certainly the kind of news we want to hear!


3/3/12, 12 Noon CST:
Following are very detailed photos of the damage, some of the most detailed we've seen yet, taken by Craig Dennis of West Liberty, KY.  I won't comment on each one, but there are a few things I'd like to point out on some of them:


What's Left of the Christian Church

The Freezer Fresh

Citizens Bank

The Old High School

Pole Next to Payton's Pharmacy

Main Street Below Pool Room

Morgan County Utilities Building

Old Pool Room

Take a close look at the next two photos, which are homes that are side by side, street not specified:



If you look closely at the house on the right, you can see pock marks from the debris that struck the brick, likely from the house next door.  I've highlighted the pock marks in a copy of the 2nd photo below (look near the tips of the yellow arrows - click on the image, as with all of them, to enlarge the view): 


The next two images show the damage at the old court house.  Look closely at the base that should be holding what was reportedly a bronze statue of a solider.  The statue is gone:



You can also see several debris pock marks on the right side (above picture) of the courthouse building as well.

The next series of images were taken along a mostly residential area of Riverside Drive:

On Main St. Looking Toward Riverside Dr.

Home on Riverside Dr.

Browns TV Building on Riverside Dr.

This next photo of what was once a home on Riverside Drive has ominous implications as to the likely strength of the tornado.  The foundation has been wiped clean.  I'm assuming this was a standard frame built home, as most of the others I've seen have been:


...and here are two more photos of heavily damaged homes on Riverside Dr:





3/3/12, 11:15 am CST:
The following video was taken by Stephanie Fannin near Ezel, KY, which is aprpoximately 12 miles West of West Liberty.  The video shows intense circulation very near them (they should have been in shelter, they were much too close):




Just because you don't see a condensation funnel all the way to the ground doesn't mean that you're not seeing a tornado.  I believe the circulation extended all the way to the ground at this time, the vantage point of the video just doesn't allow you to see the debris, etc.

This tornado then proceeded Eastward, and likely intensified, into West Liberty area.  Scroll down to the update from 7:20 pm CST yesterday evening and you'll see the short clip of the large tornado (with a full condensation funnel) as it moved into West Liberty.

Once the "live blogging" mode of this post has ended, I will pull both of these videos as well as the still shots of the tornado from throughout the post into the chronological order in which they took place.


3/3/12, 10:47am CST:
The National Weather Service (NWS) in Jackston, TN is conducting ground surveys of tornado damage across eastern Kentucky at this time.  We hope to have more detailed survey information on the West Liberty tornado later today.

Below is a preliminary map (literally drawn by hand), indicating known tornado tracks that were reported by folks on the ground (in red) and estimated tornado tracks that were indicated by radar (in purple).  County names are shown in black, outlines in grey (via NWS Jackson, TN):


I'll be sure to post any updates on the survey information as they become available.  I am also working on the radar imagery from yesterday afternoon and will have that posted hopefully within 1-2 hours from now.


3/3/12, 10:30am CST:
Another photo of the damage downtown:



Also, it was just reported that Appalachian Wireless has restored service to their tower in the West Liberty area.  Other carriers are still working on restoring service.  Please remember to text loved ones whenever possible.  Voice calls take up more bandwidth, which is a precious commodity for emergency and recovery workers right now.

Another interesting piece of trivia:  mail debris from West Liberty has now been reported as far East as Charleston, WV, over 100 air miles away!


I plan to get some radar images posted later this morning that will show the debris ball being carried along by the tornado.


3/3/12, 10am CST: Added a news video to the survivor portion of the post (scroll down to the dashed line breaks near the middle of the post).  The person is not identified, but maybe someone will recognize her.  A couple of ladies are also shown sitting in the back of an ambulance near the beginning of the video.


3/3/12, 8:10am CST:

Three YouTube videos of the damage in West Liberty by Frank Leppar. Kind of dark and shaky at times, but we are given some idea as to the destruction. You can also see some of the survivors walking around, hopefully someone you know:






Update at 3/3/12, 7am CST:

I'm not going to do a lot of narrative right off today, just trying to get photos and/or videos up as I can find them.  I also won't post every update to facebook for roughly the next hour because I expect there to be too many.  Just bookmark the blog post and refresh it every few minutes.  If there is anything particularly noteworthy, I will post a facebook update.

Additional photos of the damage in the downtown area (via twitter @danmatics):












------------------------------------------SURVIVORS----------------------------------------------
I don't typically do this, but there are so many folks concerned about their families and friends and communication is still so very limited that I have decided to start accumulating a list of names of people that I have seen interviewed by various media sources.  In a nutshell, if I see that a citizen of West Liberty is specifically named in a news article, video, etc., I will list their name here so you know that they are okay.

I will keep adding to this list today as any new interviews come forward, so you'll want to scroll down to it from time to time after refreshing the blog post (I'll keep the dashed lines before and after this part of the post so that it can be seen easily).  Please note:  I will never publish the name of anyone who has passed away (and officials don't usually release their names anyway):

Martha Jo Hall - took shelter at home
Stacy and David Lemaster, 3 kids - took shelter at Giovanni's restaurant
Patsy and Zeke Hensley - took shelter at home in the basement
Faye Isaac - was at the Dollar Store, has a few minor scratches
Rusty Hutchison
Kayla Ratliff (her mother and uncle are also okay)
Darlene Young
Connie Bressler (and her husband)
Rev. Kenneth Jett and his wife - took shelter in Methodist Church basement
Kopana Terry
David Bailey (and his family)
Steve Burton (and his daughter)
Joyce Morris (and her 3 children)


Where appropriate, I'll also include any photos that show survivors, on the chance someone might be able to recognize a family member they're looking for.  If any information is provided as to the exact location in town where the photo was taken, I will include it below the photo:


Downtown

Downtown


Downtown


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Some new statistics that have come in overnight:
-More than 30 emergency and disaster teams from across the region converged on West Liberty overnight and search/rescue operations have been ongoing

-State emergency management confirms 3 deaths and 75 injuries, however they caution that both will likely rise significantly with the light of day (as we have feared).

-The community remains locked down with only emergency/rescue crews being allowed in. 

-The Red Cross has set up evacuation shelters at Morgan County High School and at Elliot County High School and Rowan County Middle School.

New damage photos courtesy courier-journal.com:

Residential damage - unknown part of town

Residential damage - unknown part of town

Wide view of downtown and adjacent residential area

Vehicles damaged in hospital parking lot

Vehicles damaged in hospital parking lot

Partial view of the hospital and parking lot

Partial view of the hospital and parking lot


Vehicles damaged in hospital parking lot



Damage video from WTVQ (note, you'll have to pause the video after the West Liberty story airs because it automatically flows into another unrelated story afterward):




***Update 11:30 pm CST: Not really an update, but wanted to emphasize what someone posted in comments a few minutes ago.  I also pointed this out earlier, but it may have been lost in the shuffle as a lot of info. flowed in earlier this evening in a short period of time...

If you are trying to reach a loved one in the West Liberty area by cellphone, please text them rather than calling them.  There is very limited bandwidth available in the area right now, and emergency crews need every bit they can get to aid with search and rescue operations, etc.  

A mobile communications unit is on the way to the area, which should hopefully improve the situation (communications-wise) by morning.

I know a very long night is ahead for many of you.  "Not knowing" is one of the worst feelings in the world.  Our thoughts and prayers are certainly with you and your family members... and we certainly hope and pray for a positive outcome with the light of day Saturday...



***Update 10:45 pm CST: Unfortunately, we're seeing very little new information coming out now that the 11pm EST news cycle has ended. As I pointed out in the comments section a few minutes ago, it will probably not be until the light of day that we really get a truly fresh dose of information...

To recap some of the latest news:  the Kentucky Department of Emergency Management is sending several crews as well as a mobile communication center to the area.

There are 3 churches in the Grayson area that are providing shelter for the survivors that are without homes:  1st Baptist, Stinson Church of Christ and 1st Church of Christ.  They were asking for air mattresses, pillows and blankets earlier this evening.

The Red Cross is dispatching teams to the area to assist both survivors and rescue workers tonight.

Readers with connections in the area have commented that the hospital is damaged, but we don't know to what extent, and the correctional facility was not damaged.  We still don't have word on the nursing home.

I will continue to monitor the feeds and wires for awhile longer, but I wouldn't expect updates to be as frequent since the flow has slown down quite a bit over the last half hour.  The emergency crews are doing their jobs now, and we need to keep them and the folks they're trying to rescue in our thoughts and prayers tonight for sure.

If we don't have anything significant to report tonight, or if you're turning in for the night, be sure to check back tomorrow for even more information.  I'd also love to hear from those of you that are trying to reach your family once you get ahold of them.

***Update 10:10 pm CST: Another photo of unknown buildings downtown with damage:



Debris from West Liberty has reportedly been found in Lincoln County, West Virginia - over 75 miles away.


***Update 9:55 pm CST: Another damage photo from downtown (twitter, via @boofcombs):



I'm also hearing that there was damage (unknown extent) to the hospital.  Lots of folks are asking about the nursing home, but I have not seen or heard of a report from there as of yet...

The Kentucky Department of Emergency Management is sending a mobile communications center there right now, which should vastly improve the flow of information into and out of the city.


***Update 9:43 pm CST: Another photo of the tornado itself:




***Update 9:35 pm CST: Commercial Bank in West Liberty:



...and another unknown building downtown:


...in front of City Hall:




***Update 9:28 pm CST: Another view of the tornado itself. As I always say (unfortunately), hills/mountains are no problem for a tornado...they will not protect you:




***Update 9:25 pm CST: Another photo of downtown West Liberty:




***Update 9:20 pm CST: I don't normally post videos of people shooting their TV screen, but we have so many folks wondering about damage in West Liberty I want to get the info. out.  Hopefully we'll have more/clearer video soon...





***Update 9:05 pm CST: Trying to determine the name of the street (most likely Main St), but this appears to be downtown West Liberty (via @joshmgood on twitter):



A blog reader commented on Facebook that the above photo is at the intersection of Court and Main St.

***Update 8:55 pm CST:  This photo of a damaged building in West Liberty was just posted on twitter (via @kristenmkennedy).  This looks like a church to me.  Several readers familiar with the area have identified it as the Methodist Church.  (An earlier google image search apparently identified it incorrectly as the West Liberty Christian Church, which was almost completely leveled -  see photo toward the top of the post from update at 12 Noon CST on 3/3/12).




***Update 8:50 pm CST: Please watch the "comments" at the end of the post as well.  If folks ask a question that I'm able to answer, I will do my best at getting the information out that way as well (unfortunately, there are still many more unanswered questions than answered ones at this point)...


***Update 8:40 pm CST: Survivor's from West Liberty are reportedly being directed to churches in Grayson for shelter.  The churches are asking for air mattresses, blankets and pillows.  The churches are:  1st Baptist, Stinson Church of Christ and 1st Church of Christ.  If you live in this area and can safely get to those locations, your donations of those supplies would be appreciated.


***Update 8:10 pm CST:  Kentucky office of Emergency Management confirms that the communications infrastructure is heavily damaged in the West Liberty area.  They described the situation as "having lost all communication" with the city.  If you are trying to reach a loved one there, please try texting them instead of a voice call.  Emergency workers need what little bandwidth is available for voice calls right now...


***Update 7:50 pm CST:  From the Kentucky DOT, US 460 and KY 7 in West Liberty are closed until further notice.  The governor's office is reporting that 5 people have been killed and an unknown number have been injured, however there are still believed to be folks missing and/or trapped.  The Kentucky National Guard has been called in to assist with the recovery and security efforts.


***Update, 7:20 pm CST: A short, but very impressive video was just posted via twitter. It was reportedly taken in West Liberty, KY. A quick google search indicates that the McDonald's (in the foreground) in West Liberty is located at 1640 West Main Street:




Here is the video as just posted on YouTube:



***Update, 7pm CST:  Unfortunately we're still not seeing any photos or videos out of West Liberty.  All we're hearing (from various media reports, emergency scanners, etc.) is that there is widespread, significant damage throughout the town, including the court house being either severely damaged or completely destroyed.  No definitive word on casualties at this time.


-------------------------------------Original post:


National weather service and local officials are reporting "numerous fatalities and injuries" from a tornado in West Liberty, KY a short while ago.

It is no wonder when a storm with a radar signature like this one moved through around 5pm CST:


This situation is unfolding as I write this post.  Stay tuned for updates, and please keep the folks in this community in your thoughts and prayers...

I'm afraid that more stories like this one are unfolding, we just haven't heard about all of them yet...

One more thing...you're correct if this seems very familiar.  West Liberty was hit by an EF-2 tornado this past Wednesday, 2-29-12!  What are the chances?  They were still cleaning up from that one, and now they've been hit again.  I'm afraid this one will prove to be much worse.

This tornado was just one of many associated with the outbreak that took place across the Midwest, Ohio and Tennessee Valley region on Friday, March 2, 2012.  Please see this post for a "Table of Contents" index listing of the other Tornado Chronicles posts associated with the outbreak. 

For more information from 'The Original Weather Blog', including shorter, more frequent posts during rapidly changing weather events, please be sure to follow me on facebook and twitter:
 


Coming March 2013:  The Tornado Chronicles full website!
Including information on every U.S. tornado since 1950, tornado safety, preparedness and education as well as interactive radar, tornado outlooks, watches and warnings, and much more!  Please show your support and follow The Tornado Chronicles on twitter and on facebook for the latest updates on tornadoes and the upcoming website!



207 comments:

1 – 200 of 207   Newer›   Newest»
bgr81 said...

I need mire info got family thereamd cant getta hold of them worried

Rob White said...

bgr81,

I'm sorry to hear that. Please keep in mind that cellphone and other communication lines will be jammed for awhile for a couple of reasons: (1). damage to the towers or phone lines and (2). emergency workers are flooding what lines are available to work on the recovery effort.

Please keep a positive thought. You may not be able to reach them because of one of the above reasons, they may be just fine, and we certainly hope and pray that they are.

Rob

Norma said...

my sister lives in cow branch just outside of town do you know if there is any info for that specific area

Anonymous said...

It is true! We have spoken to family-got lucky. Hit in the downtown area. They said court house is gone. Phone lines ,cells etc are all messed up. They have warnings till 9:00. God Bless you all!

Anonymous said...

What about the jail? I have neice there..can't through to anyone. Family is worried.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if the tornado did damage in the Ezel, Mize or Grassy creek community, all my family lives in that area!!! Really scared right now, I live in Alabama...

Rob White said...

Norma, I'm sorry, I'm not finding Cow Branch. Which direction from down is it, and about how far?

I can tell you what the radar showed for that area at the time the storm went through. The worst was from the center of West Liberty on to the North, but to the South of Wrigley.

Anonymous said...

What about the auto zone store on the edge of town?

Anonymous said...

Old courthouse or new one. We have friends that live across from new courthouse.

Norma said...

if you are going out of town toward salyersville on rt 7 it is off the first major rd on left as soon as you clear town she only lives about 7-8 miles from the court house

Rob White said...

Norma,

Based on the description you're giving, the worst of it would be back toward town, to the Northwest.

I hope she is okay...

Rob

rookieoftheyear said...

Does anyone know about Nicholasville? Also trying to find out if family is okay.

opal said...

Could someone help me? My 100 year old grandmother lives on Williams Street near downtown West Liberty. I have been trying to contact her house but the phones must be down. Her name is Opal Williams. Thank you and please say a prayer.

Her Granddaughter,

Opal

opal said...

Could someone help me? My 100 year old grandmother lives on Williams Street near downtown West Liberty. I have been trying to contact her house but the phones must be down. Her name is Opal Williams. Thank you and please say a prayer.

Her Granddaughter,

Opal

Rob White said...

Rookieoftheyear,

I am not aware of any significant reports of damage or injury in Nicholasville.

I can tell you that communication lines are tied up (or torn down) all over central and eastern Kentucky, which is preventing a lot of folks from reaching relatives.
This doesn't mean their exact location was affected, just the communication system is under great stress as a whole right now...

I hope all is well for your family...

Rob

Rob White said...

Opal,

I certainly understand how concerned you must be for your grandmother! I wish I had better information to give you, but we're not receiving details on specific locations of damage at this time (except for the court house).

As we are able to get more specific details I will be sure to post them here.

In the meantime, I hope your grandma is okay. Please let us know once you reach someone...and our thoughts and prayers are with you, your grandma and your family...

Rob

Bee said...

What about the Hospital? Is the damage only in West Liberty? What about Pomp and Sandy Hook?

rookieoftheyear said...

Thank you Rob! Just found out that I was mistaken about the location and that they recently moved half a mile away from the courthouse, downtown. Fingers crossed.

Anonymous said...

What about the West Liberty Nursing Home and Rehab Center? My grandma is there and have heard on FaceBook that the nursing home was flattened......any news would be appreciated!! Violet Corman

Anonymous said...

Anyone know about Sandy Hook? I have family there. I'm in Ohio and I can't get ahold of anyone. Thank you for anything you can tell me.

Beth in Dayton Ohio

Anonymous said...

What can anyone tell me about the AUTO ZONE?

Norma said...

ok my sisters location is actually on rt 172 between west liberty and lenox but is actually closer to town of westliberty

Anonymous said...

not the Auto Zone. The Advanced Auto Parts store does anyone know about it.

jason said...

whats going on in Wrigley, heard its bad too.

moomom61 said...

Looking for info on Lacy Creek, Cow Branch and War Creek, Thank-you, moomom61

Christina Harris said...

If anyone can tell me about West Broad street I would truly appreciate it. My aunt and uncle live there and we can't make contact. It's a small older house so extremely worried.

Rob White said...

We're still not hearing a lot of specifics regarding the exact damage location, but what we are consistently hearing is that the downtown area is particularly hard hit.

The office of emergency management for the state is confirming that communication is virtually non-existent due to damage to phone lines and cellphone towers in and around West Liberty. This confirms my earlier suspicions, and explains why folks are having a hard time reaching relatives.

If you have a relative up that way with a cellphone, please try texting them rather than calling them. Emergency workers need all of the voice bandwidth they can get right now - which isn't very much...

Stay tuned to the blog post and I'll keep updating it as new information come in, and our thoughts and prayers are certainly with everyone in that area and their families across the country...

texas130 said...

Any news regarding the EKCF in West Liberty? Prayers for all.

Anonymous said...

My dad lives there. I'm in the Army at Ft Hood, TX.He's at 8953 Hwy 519. I cant get through. Can someone, anyone check on him? My number is 254-702-6024. His name is Dave Davis

Anonymous said...

Hey there, does anyone know about the fire department in west liberty? Was it hit hard? My best friends husband works there and the last thing she texted me was she didn't know where he was

Minnie said...

Any new info. on West Liberty and the surrounding area?

Anonymous said...

Looking for Sharon Wright's family. One of her daughters is Calista Wright...

josh salmon said...

I am looking for wiendle and glois williams they live on ruep st. cant get ahold os them. they are my grandparents please let us know what is going on their and our thoughts and prayes are with west liberty. thanks

Anonymous said...

Does anybody know if west liberty hospital was hit and if so how bad

Anonymous said...

They showed the news, only Main Street. Everything is really torn up but I wouldn't call it leveled. I assume since they didn't mention the hospital or the rest home everything it okay there. I hope so.

Rob White said...

Anonymous/Fire Department,

I have not seen a specific report regarding the state of the fire department building itself, but I have seen media reports (words - not pictures) that police vehicles were "thrown around" in the street in front of the police and fire departments.

I suspect we'll finally begin to see some photos and/or video of the damage once the 11pm Eastern newcasts begin. I am monitoring several feeds and will post anything at all as soon as it comes up...

Joey said...

Anymore info about Cow Branch Road? It's on the northeast part of West Liberty. Family still unreachable there, and we're concerned just trying to find out what news we can.

Anonymous said...

Anyone hear anything about Wells Hill? Or hospital?

blackfalcon_62 said...

that is the methodist church across the street from commercial bank

Anonymous said...

Folks if you have family in West Liberty, be sure to search for them on the Red Cross Safe & Well website at: https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php

Anonymous said...

how far up prestonsburg street does the damage extend... freezer fresh area residential house across the street there... any info would be greatly appreciated.

blackfalcon_62 said...

second pic is of main st. the white building is commercial bank and the brown one on the right is the old court house

Anonymous said...

that last picture is Main Street

Anonymous said...

Sister in law was working in Curves under (??) Theatre texting her mom when suddenly communication was lost. ANY information on Telia Bolin please. Blonde, 20 years. ANYTHING??? I'm in another county trying to find information on the building on Main street.

LibraryGirl62 said...

My grandma lives on Branch Street-Bea Robinson. If anyone can find anything out, please e-mail me library.girl62@gmail.com. Thanks!!!

Anonymous said...

Is there literally no way to get information from anyone in the city? Or about the fatalities?

IAmWEC said...

That is Main Street, I can confirm. The building on the right with lights is the new court house

myork said...

Thanks for this blog! I have family that live in the area. Does anyone know anything about the Kellacy area?

Anonymous said...

I need as much info I can possibly get on west liberty hospital. Iv got family missing. She works for the hospital. Thank u

Patricia Fultz said...

My Father, Argus Smith, Uncle Boyd Smith, and Aunt Lida Harper live down over the hill from Main Street on 171 & 181 Riverview Drive backing up to the Health Department off Riverside Drive. I live in Texas and I am frantic. If you could please provide me with any information, I will be so grateful. They are in their 70s & 80s.

Patricia Fultz

Anonymous said...

My son lives on con branch rd. seems to be a little northeast of west liberty .If any info please post. Thanks

Steve said...

I've heard that part of the hospital roof was removed.

Steve said...

ANy news on Ison, Ball family would be appreciated. Also, status of Hwy 1161 just north of West Liberty.

Anonymous said...

Parents live in trailor court, go to pump house during bad weather, eugene and flora craft, text me on 937 681 2901. Would like info

mrs.cujo said...

If anyone hears of where people are going for shelter, please communicate. I am looking for Kenneth Joseph if anyone hears anything!

Rob White said...

Mrs. Cujo, see the update at 8:40 pm for shelter information. I hope your family is okay.

IAmWEC said...

My mom was born and raised there.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-fQ2Nz6vJFbo/T1GPGZlPKpI/AAAAAAAAHII/RTnXiS5A73w/s1600/w_lib_3.jpg is the (Former) Pawn shop and the Cinema next to it.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-oR0x-cJHN1o/T1GRJ7ktADI/AAAAAAAAHIg/qYczwaVGoaM/s1600/w_lib_downtown.jpg is looking at the pawn shop from the other angle, a former pharmacy was where the bucket of the bulldozer is.

IAmWEC said...

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-oR0x-cJHN1o/T1GRJ7ktADI/AAAAAAAAHIg/qYczwaVGoaM/s400/w_lib_downtown.jpg Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio

Anonymous said...

Go look at the news update that the Lexington tv channels are posting. It sounds like we'll know more as the National Guard is able to get to work on rescue. All others need to stay away right now and let the officials do their work to rescue during the night. We don't need more people getting hurt! God be with all these people.

momx4 said...

old courthouse

Kim BB said...

The white church was the Methodist Church on the corner of Hwy 7 & 460 (Main Street and Prestonsburg Streets).

Anonymous said...

did only down town get hit ...my dad lives about 7 miles away on Grassy Hill E .....can't get ahold of him I'm so worried...is that area effected ...thank you

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of photos going around. Any photos or news about Wells Hill? Please, my uncle and aunt live in my grandmothers house right at the top. My granny is in the hospital there so anything helps.

Kim BB said...

Picture of the unknown building (blueish color) is the old Russell Williams Barber Shop building.

Anonymous said...

The American Red Cross has a website where you can post if you're OK and where people can search for friends and relatives. You need to know their name and either a phone number or address. It will probably be hours or days before people who were hit will have the ability to get to a computer and register, but it's a place to start.

https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php

IAmWEC said...

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-piEh6X-EW2Q/T1GV081ZziI/AAAAAAAAHI4/SDz2aa_Hxd0/s400/w_lib_4.jpg
This is the new courthouse

Kim BB said...

The buildings with the van in front used to be a country gift shop, Chinese restaurant, and McKenzie's Department store.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone heard anything about EKCC?...i can't call them and i haven't herad from my boyfriend...please i'm worried sick!!

Anonymous said...

Any news on the local newspaper....Licking Valley Courier...located on prestonsburg street down from the methodist church that was hit. My uncle Earl Kinner owns the newspaper and live across the street...just wanting to know if they were harmed. so many pics are steps away from seeing their home and business...I am in IN and of course no contact available. Those of faith, please pray for all!

leah hess said...

does anyone know the condition of the houses on townhomes lane? i have a cousin there.

jesse johnson said...

my mom and sis are ok cant get in touch with my son jeremy johnson he and his family were not home when my brother in law checked on mom he said the roof of bernie riggsby house was gone and the roof of ollie riggsby building was gone

Anonymous said...

if anyone knows if kenneth ferguson or marinda ferguson is ok please email me at myers7905@embarqmail.com or call 219-309-5456

Anonymous said...

Any damage toward hazel green? Family lives on 203 toward west liberty. Chaneys

Anonymous said...

Reports are the the prison is fine. Communications are down. Thanks for the blog Rob.

Anonymous said...

http://www.kentucky.com/2012/03/02/2092555/storm-photos-from-kentucky.html

photos + a longer comment board.

Rebecca Prater said...

please some one tell me if my aunt rebecca nicole smith is ok and her kids. im worried sick please if anyone knows anything call me at 606-216-8989.

FullBlast Pressure Washing said...

For anyone wondering, cow branch is out RT 172. My brother Carlos Rissler lives on Old RT 172 about one mile off Prestonsburg St. My Dad lives out RT 172 close to Laurel Fork. No contact with any of them. I live in PA. My number 717-961-5477

HB Elam said...

The which church is United Methodist Church. Still trying to find out more information.

Rob White said...

For those of you thanking me - I thank you for providing valuable information so folks can find out as much as possible! I only wish we had more answers to the questions folks are asking, but at this stage of the game in a major event like this one, it is pretty typical not to know a whole lot.

I hate to say it, but this really reminds me of the Joplin tornado event last year, as far as what it felt like during the first several hours after the tornado struck. It was organized chaos, and they at least had some forms of communication available - we seem to be limited as to communication sources in this case, which makes it even harder.

Unfortunately, it will probably not be until the light of day tomorrow before we really, truly know just how bad things are in West Liberty and surrounding areas...

Rebecca Prater said...

my aunt rebecca smith lives on rt 172 between west liberty and lenox but is actually closer to town of westliberty about 7-8 miles from the court house.

Anonymous said...

if anyone knows Donnie and Susan Jones please post if they are ok, I am in Kansas and can not get ahold of anyone, thanks her son

samantha ferguson said...

Does any know how bad cannel city area was hit my did lives on Morris cemetery rd and can't get thru to him. Text 513 571 2531 if you know any thing. Worried navy daughter.

Anonymous said...

Rob - Thank you so much for your up to date coverage. Although, we are left with many unanswered questions and missing loved ones this evening, your information has been so helpful in our search. We continue to pray for a positive outcome in our situation for our loved one and for all of the families who are awaiting the news of a beloved person in their lives.

Happymom4 aka Hope Anne said...

Needing info on family and loved ones in the Crockett area. Does anyone have reports from that area? Can't get through to any of them. Haven't been able to find info on the news about Crockett.

Anonymous said...

My parents live on old hwy 172 just up the hill from downtown next to a baptist church. Cant reach them. Any info?

Anonymous said...

Authorities are asking you to TEXT NOT CALL because the communications system is down and they need everything they have for emergency communication.

Does anyone know any "ham radio" (shortwave) operators? In my state rural areas have big networks to pass messages, and activate an emergency net. Worth a try.

mm said...

Any news on New Hope Baptist Church?????

Anonymous said...

I have three children .. Jacob Hunter Jordan age 13, Lauren Elizabeth Jordan age 12 and Nathaniel Mason Jordan age 11 who live in the ezel area with their dad Paul Jordan and Step Mom Jessie Jordan... I live in Florida, and cannot get through on any number or through texts if you know they are ok please write me back or text me at the following number 239-878-3945.. I would greatly appreciate it.. Carolyn Jordan.. I am a Red Cross Volunteer and can be reached this way. Please I need to know my children are ok...I work with the lee county chapter in fl

Anonymous said...

Here are some HAM call signs. Unfortunately i don't know anyone with a HAM radio anymore.....


http://call-signs.findthebest.com/d/l/KY/West-Liberty

Anonymous said...

Still looking for information on the Advanced Auto Parts Store. Have a family member working there, last spoke to him just minutes before the tornado hit.

mm said...

New Hope Baptist Church Gordon Ford Road, West Liberty, KY 41472 Category: Church

Please does anyone know about the church or its Pastor George?

traveler said...

My father is on an Oxygen machine. He has some bottled oxygen, but it does not work very well for him. He lives alone and cannot easily get out and about. He lives at 1535 Old Highway 172. Anyone have any news about that area??

pam said...

Any one know about wayne or barbara levandowski they live on 2361 old hwy 172 in west liberty we are in michigan and cannot reach them any info please call 936 662 0921 we would appreciate it also i called kentucky state police at 606 784 4127 and they will give you info there.

Pam

Anonymous said...

traveler: my parents live at 2361 old hwy 172 and we haven't been able to reach them. Let me know if you get any info on that area and I will let you know as well if we hear from them. Very scary!

Larry S Evans II said...

http://www.facebook.com/events/262869083790876/ I am also from West Liberty originally and still have family there. The link above is for a facebook page to get aid to the survivors, but I imagine you will find a number of us concerend folks sharing what information we can get. My hopes and prayers are with everyone who lives there, and with those of us who wait.

Anonymous said...

Pam - we are trying to reach them too!

Anonymous said...

Do you know anything about the Campton area or Wolfe County? It boarders Morgan County and communication has been down in that area since around 7.

GJoseph said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Looking to make sure family on Stingy Fork are ok. If any one knows anything about that area please text 606-481-0164

rhonda said...

I am looking for my sister and her 4 kids...they live on hill top rd..does anyone know if that area was hit or not??..

Steve said...

Hwy 1161 is supposedly in good shape.

blackfalcon_62 said...

Heard from my brother who lives in West Liberty. Prestonsburg st was hit hard. Rite Aid, Christian Church, Community Center, Bp, Food Court are pretty well gone. Liberty Heights got hit hard. Givannis is apparently still there. He lived beind there and said those three trailers are gone. That apparently the tornado headed towards new 172. He also said that the houses between west liberty and the hospital were destroyed. Although he didnt mention wether or not it was riverside drive or towards go-go. But when asked he said he didnt know about riverside dr, so I am assuming he meant towards go-go. KSP is evacuating the city and sending eople to Elliot high and rowan county high. Also said there were some people being sent to Morgan county high. There is still no power or phones.

kkugel said...

family in Salyersville, Bob Kugel and 5 kids they live on Henry Arnett, off of coal branch any word if anyones seen them?????

C MCKNIGHT said...

Has anyone seen or heard from Jared and Arianna McKnight? Please call or text 708-691-2138. Thank you and praying for everyone affected by these tornados.

Anonymous said...

I am trying to find Jessica Leigh Coffey and her family, she lives on 519 between Morehead and West Liberty, closer to West Liberty, I was on the phone with her at 7:12pm when the phone cut off, please let me know of any news about this area, I am worried sick

CASS said...

HOWS SANDLICK???

Norma said...

Just got news my sister is ok so for you guys looking for family around cow branch is ok mostly just wind damage gets more severe back towards prestonsburg st.

Kyle said...

Just heard from a friend that drove across Hwy 772: the 519-end has very limited damage, but the Ezel-end has heavy damage with twisted metal and tree debris. Hope this helps anyone with family on that road.

Jessi said...

My Dad and his 10 sibling live in West Liberty.. My maiden name is Bolin.. we have family on Cow Branch so thank you for the comment on that! We also have family in Ezel.. Please Pray for everyone!

k town cheese head said...

Got word on my mom on Cow Branch....Lost barn and small out building...Damage to roof and a ton of trees in front yard....Family members around moms house are all okay...Ison's, Johnson's and Adkins are okay...My cousin made it in from Lexington area Lord only knows how he got in...Road trip will be in order to clean up

Benagain said...

My wife Just read on Facebook they are ok! They got to the neighbors and were safe.

Anonymous said...

If anyone has info on the Potters (Anthony/Wanda) they live on Highway 460????
My sis is down there now checking with all shelters but can't seem to find them. If any info call/text me 513 462 7481 or find me on fb Amy Lawson from Hamilton Ohio

Anonymous said...

Looking for Sharon and jimmy Tharp does anyone know them and are they ok spaws creek area pleas help

Anonymous said...

Patricia
Argus, Boyd, and Lida are Ok. Their houses are gone, but they made it across the street to the basement of the brick house in time...Kimberly and Lee found them!
Randy H

Anonymous said...

Any word on Ezel, I have family there and also KOrea and Dan Ridge area, Murphy Family.

Anonymous said...

I also have family and friends spread across the whole area hit, I'm worried for them. My prayers are with all of you that no harm came to any of your family and friends.
Murphy Family

Anonymous said...

i am wondering if anyone can help me i am in IL my sister, brother inlaw, nephew and neice live in west liberty on liberty RD in the town house can anyone tell me if they know anything

Anonymous said...

What about Wrigley and Blaze? My family is in Blaze.

Anonymous said...

The nursing home did not get hit

Anonymous said...

My family lives there and said the hospital, nursing home, and school is standing. All the houses have been wiped out

Owen Perkins said...

I have family there also, Stacy Fork..
No Phone service to my Family yet, Very Worried and Scared for the Folks in West Liberty..
If anyone gets a phone call to there please post for us..
Thanks, Hobbit

Anonymous said...

Any update if the auto parts store got hit? We are looking for employees there.

Jessi said...

Stacy Fork is OK! :)

Anonymous said...

Just got word that the auto store got hit but the employees are ok.

Owen Perkins said...

Been trying to get a call to my family on Stacy Fork, no luck so far..
If anyone gets a answer please let us Know..
Very worried here in Dayton Ohio..

HouseHobbit

Anonymous said...

Did the motel by McDonalds in West Libery make it? Have family staying there

Anonymous said...

Got word from state police that my parents at 2361 old hwy 172 are okay. Hope that helps someone...

Jim Davis 254-702-6024 said...

My dad is David J Davis, he lives at 8953 Hwy 519, West Liberty, KY 41472. This real nice lady from Michigan said she would check on him. I'm a soldier in Texas and can't get there now. If anyone else can read this in that area, let me know hot things are. jimmidavis2002@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

still no word on Flora and Eugene Craft. they lived n the trailor court. 937-681-2901 if anyone knows anyting please. good or bad please text me

IAmWEC said...

If we could get a track of the tornado if you know, that might help a lot :D

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know anything about the west liberty vet clinic? We have family that works there, and lives very close to it.

Anonymous said...

Any information on the freezer fresh area of prestonsburg street in west liberty? If anyone can get a visual on the white house across the street from freezer fresh please post

IAmWEC said...

Live coverage from damaged areas, including West Liberty:

http://ww2.wkyt.com/global/video/flash/popupplayer.asp?vt1=l&d1=0&ClipId1=mms%3A//a1832.l731147410.c7311.n.lm.akamaistream.net/D/1832/7311/v0001/reflector%3A47410&LiveURI=mms%3A//a1832.l731147410.c7311.n.lm.akamaistream.net/D/1832/7311/v0001/reflector%3A47410&h1=27%20NEWSFIRST%20LIVE%20-%20Watch%20Coverage%20NOW&at1=Newstream&LiveURITitle=27%20NEWSFIRST%20LIVE%20-%20Watch%20Coverage%20NOW&LaunchPageAdTag=Newstream&fvCatNo=undefined&secure=undefined&akPort=undefined&akProfile=undefined&rnd=55971578

Anonymous said...

Have had word that my relatives, James Fleshman & Sandy Fleshman and their son Jimmy are all ok. Don't have any more details. Their house is (was?) on Main Street.

myork said...

Finally heard from someone in Kellacy that it is ok. I also heard that the Tabernacle Road got hit which is close to Woodsbend. Also heard that the Youth Development Center was hit but everyone was ok there, they are being moved out.

Anonymous said...

Thank you blackfalcon_62. That's the most precise information we have received yet.

Kyle said...

Briefly had a phone call from my family.. Moderate damage in the 9000-box range of Hwy 772, slight damage on Upper Long Branch Rd., heavier damage on Hwy 460 headed out of Ezel toward Wellington. Then the phone call cut out... I'll post more if I can get back through.

Charity Waltz-Cates chatt@hotmail.com said...

I am looking for info on Mondell Bradley 118Wells Hill she is the widow of my great uncle Andrew "Jake" Bradley she is my Aunt and we are all worried here in Cincinnati

Anonymous said...

I am trying to find my cousins, George Murray and William Bellamy (sons of Dr. George and Bette Bellamy), Gary Elam... Can't get through to any of them so am trying this. Have other family there, too, but praying that George M. and William are okay and can let us know. Please let me know if you know anything about them. God be with you all. Thank you, Janet Bellamy

Peggy Riley said...

Pray for the victims, and I need to any information on Mandy Riley and Lawrence Smith. They live on Highway 7 between West Liberty and Wrigley. Thanks Peggy Riley

peggy said...

Information on Mandy Riley and Lawrence

LibraryGirl62 said...

Bea Robinson, my 91 year old Grandma. Lives on Branch St in West Liberty-right by the community park with the pool. any info appreciated. Prayers and hugs to all.

Anonymous said...

Heard from family living just off 172, between Crockett and Moon. Everyone they know is well, but the devastation is great.

Anonymous said...

checkin on wayne & della banks

family worried in ohio

k town cheese head said...

From the info I received a few minutes ago everyone that lives on Cow Branch off route 472 is okay....Family members have alot of damage....My cousin also told me the Bolin family is okay for a previous thread...He is going back in and will let us know....Almost all of the town of West liberty is gone.....

Anonymous said...

After a night of searching, we finally heard from our relatives in West Liberty. He is the pastor of the West Liberty Christian church. They are all good, church is destroyed. They are trying to contact congregation members now. If we hear more, we will post.

Charity Waltz-Cates said...

All the houses on Wells Hill? My Great Aunt Lived there Mondale Bradley 118 Wells Hill. More info please

Anonymous said...

Does any one know of Lucas O'Daniel who was driving the maroon blazer that is showing up side down in front of police dept. in the pictures of downtown West Liberty.
we have not been able to get in touch with him. If anyone has information please let us know.
thanks

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if Alice Smith, Billy Smith, Tim Smith and Amy Jenkins are OK?????

Anonymous said...

Spoke to Marla Taylor, West Liberty. The only thing she got out before the line went dead was....West Liberty is gone.

MyLullaby said...

we are looking for the JARVIS family. They own the Lemon Tree Resturant in town. Any information is greatly appreciated. Does anyone know if we can get into West Liberty today or are the streets still closed?

j4downey said...

Does anyone have information about Mary Downey, David Downey and their relatives? They live in West Liberty.

Mick said...

I am looking for my daughter and my 3 year old grand-daughter. Theyre names are Ashley Swanson, and my grandaughters name is Elizabeth. I am worried sick- if you recieve any info about them pleae let me know. And tell them we love them.

Anonymous said...

Looking to hear about family members I am worried sick!...Henry, Chassie, Gooner(Henry Jr),David Bailey and family or Mark Allen, Vicki, Taylor and Billy Wright and family. Bonnie orthy Hall Bonnie and Johnny Perry. Kimmy Legg I believe is living in town in the apartments behind the cig store...Please if ANYONE knows the whereabouts or have seen or heard of any of them please feel free to call or text me at 219-406-6020 Thank you Tammy Craft

Anonymous said...

Has anyone hear from M.B "Herky" Allen. He lives at 330 Main St.on the right.

Anonymous said...

Just drove aroundoutside of the town by the hospiatal. Hospital still standing. Town has bad damage. Some houses missing completely. Everyone from west libert veterinary clinic accounted for and safe.

dag in Indiana said...

My aunt, Dorothy Hinton, lives on Carver street on Wells Hill and her daughter, Bonnie Perry lives on Townhouse court on Wells Hill. They don't live far from the hospital. Can anyone tell me if they are okay? I am worried as are all of our family. I live in Northern Indiana.

Anonymous said...

My aunt dorothy hinton lives on Carver street on wells hill. Can you tell me about her and her daughter, Bonnie Perry who lives on Townhouse court on Wells hill?

dag in Indiana said...

I have family that live on Coffee Creek outside of West Liberty. I have several aunts and uncles who live out that way off 172. can anyone tell me how they are?

Anonymous said...

Am looking to confirm the safety of my Aunt Hilda Alfrey, located on Saw Mill Rd just north of Ezel....the tornado track appears to have run from Wellington in Menifee Co toward
West Liberty in Morgan Co. and may have been a direct hit...

Should you have any word- contact Steve @ 317-258-8294.or email: sbelokopitsky@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

still looking for any informtion about George or William Bellamy or anyone of the Elam family
pat bellamy archut patarchut@charter.net in Tenn

Anonymous said...

A family member just spoke to relatives in West Liberty, one lives in town, one just east of town. Both are well, but they say the town is gone. They also say that what is being show of Main street is nothing compaired to the homes outside of downtown. According to them homes are completly gone.

Anonymous said...

Missing family in West Liberty:

Sandy Lawson
Ed Lawson
Clyde Fife
Randy Fife

If anyone has info, please reply. Or if there is a site that I can use to find them, let me know. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

https://safeandwell.communityos.org/zf/safesearch/search
safeandwell.communityos.org
The American Red Cross Safe and Well Website is a way for people affected by a disaster to enter information regarding their welfare so family and friends can check their status. Because people self-register, the Red Cross cannot verify the information and is not responsible for any inaccuracies.

Anonymous said...

Looking for Lucy and Larry McClain..They lived on Henry Street, 2 blocks from the court house...If you hear from them please post their names on your site...Thank You...Very concerned and God Bless All The Families...

Mark Elam said...

Looking for any information about Glois and Wiendle Williams. We have been unable to reach them so if anyone has information please reply. My Aunt and Uncle who live in West Liberty.
Thanks
Mark Elam

Anonymous said...

looking for info on anyone with the last name of keeton. Many relatives in and around the immediate area of west liberty. please let us know. we live in michigan. thank you and bless you all.

Kip said...

George and William Bellamy are ok. My aunt went to West Liberty and spoke with them. They are trying to help with anything that they can in what sounds like a very bad situation.

Anonymous said...

What about Sandy Hook & Isonville? Any news on how bad they were hit? I Have a mom and little sister there....

texasruby said...

Iam Looking Sarah Spicer..Glenna Burks...Michael Burks...Joanne Stoddard..Patrica Burks..Fred Burks..All the Burks Sarah is my Mom Glenna is My grandmother and the rest is aunts and uncles. Please I have found out If ok please any info! I have located the Alreds. Thank you...and Bless everyone!

Anonymous said...

Opal Williams is okay and in Morehead.

Anonymous said...

Good news - heard from Sandy and Ed Lawson and Randy and Clyde Fife. They were able to send a text.

God bless and best wishes finding your loved ones, too.

Lisa said...

Looking for info on Marjorie Foster. Sweet, elderly woman who lives in the small trailer next to Rite-Aid. Heard Rite-Aid and church are gone.
Anyone in West Liberty, have you seen or heard anything about her? Has anyone seen video footage or photos of this specific area of town? Prestonburg St? PLEASE COMMENT, POST A LINK OR EMAIL ME AT LILLISA82@GMAIL.COM. Thank you so much!

Anonymous said...

My Dad lives on Pleasant Run, off of 519, and my sister lives in Elk Fork. They are both ok. Thank God!

Anonymous said...

Word that family Bonnie and Johnny Perry and Dorthy Hinton (Hall) are ok...Thank the lord! Still waiting to hear something on David and Beth Bailey and family.

Anonymous said...

The Weather Channel has live coverage from West Liberty. They can't get into town because it is in lock down for fear of looting. The are just outside of downtown and have lots of info. Keep tuned in to TWC for frequent updates. Still reporting only 4 fatalities from West Liberty...unbelievable considering all the damage!

Anonymous said...

Looking for Vanessa Sanders who was working at Food Court. No one, including her family, has heard from her since tornado. If anyone has any info, please post! Thank you!!!

Anonymous said...

Looking for Vanessa Sanders who was working at Food Court. No one, including her family, has heard from her since tornado. If anyone has any info, please post! Thank you!!!

Stephanie Kellogg said...

My Mother in law and sister and nieces are all okay, on Cow branch Rd, The Dr. Spencer family, Sandra Sharp, Wendy Mitchell Kellogg and her two daughters. House and cars destroyed.

Anonymous said...

I am trying to find out about my family (Burks Family) off of Cow Branch. Please email me at work_home_bed2000@yahoo.com if you have any info.
Thanks You.

Anonymous said...

looking for george oney family

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have info on Ezel and how hard they were hit? My aunt lives on 406 off of 460 and nobody can reach her in that area

Lisa said...

Pastor George & Joretta Oney are safe & okay!!!!!! PRAISE THE LORD! New Hope Baptist Church is also not damaged. Our youth pastor spoke briefly with him this morning before the phone connection was lost. George said that downtown West Liberty is pure chaos with all the devestation but people are working to help each other out. Hope this info gives you peace!

Anonymous said...

Looking for a cousin Pat Helton and her family.Hope they are alright.

divine said...

Thanks for update on George Oney our thoughts and prayers are with you all hope the whole family is well God bless you.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know anything about spaws creek rd

Owen Perkins said...

Ezel has suffered damage also, My Cousin's house was destroyed. There t my family are safe just minor hurts here and there.Thank God,

Anonymous said...

thank you for your post Mr Owens, my aunt Ruth Yerian has lived in Ezel a long time, we're worried that we can't reach her

Anonymous said...

does anyone know anything about woodsbend. my papol lives beside the woodsbend boys camp in west liberty ky.

Melissa Wiese said...

I have talked to friends living at 3170 Liberty Rd. They are fine and completely untouched by the tornado. I hope this helps.

Owen Perkins said...

I will head to Ezel tomorrow waiting to hear from MY dear cousin and see what see and the family need, I will be happy to contact anyone that needs information once i am there..
The net is up now is some areas and i have access i will let all know what i find in west liberty and the surrounding area..God Bless..

Anonymous said...

If we want to help, to volunteer some time in or around West Liberty, who do we contact?

Anonymous said...

I would like to know if anyone has any infomation about the Mckenzie family, thank you.

WHWR said...

i was once in west liberty, nice place, If need we can bring a fully funtional Ham Radio Setup there, 2 meter, HF with our own power, Don't know how bad communications are, but we are availible if needed, wa2fso@sneumann.us

Anonymous said...

Has anyone heard if Madeline Williams of Ezel is ok? Thank you.

myork said...

To the person asking about Woodsbend, I heard from someone who lives there that there were about 19 homes destroyed. Several of them were by the boys camp. I believe all of the people who lived by the Boys Camp were ok and accounted for. The Woodsbend Community Church is offering shelter and basic necessities to anyone who needs them.

disgusted individual said...

For anyone who may be concerned about the 28 boys and the 8 staff that were at the Woodsbend boys camp the evening the tornado tore through the campus they are all fine and doing well no injuries even though it seems no one cares to ask.

kazlady said...

Does anyone have photos of West Liberty Elementary School?

live sports said...

great post

Anonymous said...

nice post

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