Taylor County continues recovery efforts after two tornadoes, floods and snowstorm

Taylor County continues storm damage recovery efforts.
Taylor County continues storm damage recovery efforts.(Clear)
Published: Jan. 8, 2022 at 7:31 PM EST
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CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The National Weather Service has confirmed a total of ten tornadoes during the New Year’s Day weekend storms.

On that day, one of the ten tornadoes touched down in Taylor County just three miles down the road where an EF-3 level tornado with 145 mile-per-hour winds wreaked havoc on Dec. 11, 2021.

One couple, Rodney and Cheryl Whitlock, were just sitting down to watch a ball game on New Year’s Day, when around 1:00 p.m., a tornado warning was issued.

They said they didn’t think anything of it until they looked outside.

“I said it’s looking pretty bad, we better get up and go,” Rodney said to his wife, Cheryl.

“And when he says it’s time to go, it’s time to go,” Cheryl said.

The couple barely made it halfway down the basement stairs.

“I could look over my shoulder and watch pieces of tin and other things flying around outside my house,” Rodney said.

The Whitlock’s were in the storm’s indirect line.

An EF-1 tornado with 110 mile-per-hour winds touched down on Salem Church Road, pushing through their block on Red Fern Road.

The Whitlock’s have lived in their home for 30 years and said this was their first experience with a tornado.

“Well in my mind, I was seeing the aftermath of the storm in three weeks ago to the day,” Cheryl said. “And those poor people lost everything. That’s what was in the back of my mind, but I got up here and said I have a roof, so I’m very blessed.”

When the couple made it up the stairs, their full blessings were revealed. For the most part, their home was still intact.

“Apparently one of their two-by-fours shot through the wall of the house,” Rodney said as he pointed to the hole in their bathroom.

The two-by-four shot into their home through a wall and their shower, landing on an ottoman.

Like much of Taylor County, their home will need some repairs.

In response to the storm damage recovery efforts, Richard Phillips, a local magistrate for Taylor County, says he’s working to make sure his community holds on and pushes through.

“It breaks our heart what we’ve been through this since the 11th of Dec.,” Phillips said. “We’ve had two tornados and floods and a snowstorm in a short amount of time. That’s a whole lot to hit a community with. But the people of Taylor county tend to be extremely independent.”

People like the Whitlock’s are thankful they were in a safe place at the right time.

Since the New Year’s Day storms, Taylor County has also dealt with eight inches of snow and eight-degree weather.

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