Laurel County family reflects on 2012 tornado outbreak

Published: Feb. 3, 2017 at 6:58 PM EST
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Almost five years have passed, but one family in Laurel County remembers the event like it was yesterday.

In 2012, tornadoes ripped across the region, killing more than two dozen people.

Michelle and Freddie Diaz said it is a day they will never forget. They were at home when the storms began.

An EF-2 tornado went through Laurel County, and destroyed nearly everything in its path.

"It was more than just damage to the house that this thing caused. Mentally, you're just really damaged," Michelle said.

They said the sound from the tornado will stay with them forever.

"We just hear a 'poof'. It wasn't loud. It wasn't scary, or anything, but the roof came off of every part of the back of the house except the room we were in," Michelle said.

However, they said those sounds pale in comparison to what they heard after the storm.

"You hear them hollering up the road here, 'I can't find my kids. My kids are gone.' You don't know what to do. You're in panic mode," Michelle said. "I started running around seeing if I could find anybody."

The tornado damaged the Diazs' home, but they were able to fix everything. They are glad they are still around to tell their story.

They have since moved to another house in Laurel County.

The Diaz family is thankful to several organizations for their help after the disaster, specifically mentioning the local Walmart Distribution Center, Cumberland Valley Electric, and multiple churches.