TORNADO AFTERMATH: Martin County Power Problems

By: Tim Irr - Email
By: Tim Irr - Email

MARTIN COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Without any deaths or major injuries from last week's tornado outbreak, it might be easy to look past a place like Martin County. But folks who live there are dealing with massive damage and power outages. Relief started to roll in on Monday.

Friday night was a night when seconds and inches made all the difference. Seconds into a safe basement for one family in Lovely, Ky., as the tornado blew in ... but then inches from disaster as a 2-by-6 piece of wood slammed through the basement wall

People in towns with names like Lovely and Beauty, Ky., felt the exact opposite as they took surreal walks through their now snow-filled homes. They'll obviously seek shelter elsewhere, and hopefully those shelters will all soon have power.

The electric cavalry arrived in Martin County, a very welcome parade with AEP as grand marshal.

"AEP has done a real good job," said Lee Gauze, the director of Emergency Service in Martin County. "They've had several crews in here. Right now they're setting up poles in the Beauty area because it completely took poles, transformers wires and all completely out in that area."

While there were no major injuries or deaths in Martin County, 118 homes were damaged and 24 others were destroyed. Once the roads were clear, food could be delivered. All of the help was very much appreciated by people who now find themselves cold, hungry and tired.

"From day one, we've had a lot of help," said John Webb. His family's home was heavily damaged by the tornado.

Webb was grateful to have escaped with his life last Friday. Now he says he and his wife are grateful for the warm meals they can share with their children.

"They've been delivering water and food ... breakfast, lunch and dinner," he said.

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