Magoffin County Judge Executive remembers tornado outbreak

Published: Mar. 2, 2017 at 5:36 PM EST
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In Magoffin County, the tornado tore through the county leaving behind damage that would take weeks to clean up.

The evening of March 2nd remains vivid for Magoffin County Judge Executive Charles Hardin, even five years later.

"We were getting ready to go to West Liberty when I was informed by Michelle that there's a tornado coming our way," Hardin said.

Hardin didn't hesitate to get out into the community.

He drove to the parkway and began warning people and closing businesses.

"I went in one place, actually picked up an elderly gentleman and took him over and dropped him off at my house and went back out and closed down some more," Hardin said.

The devastation was widespread and the stories of that day linger in Hardin's mind.

He said the storm hit at the right time, any later and the outcome could have been worse in Magoffin County.

"Five years later I'm still amazed nobody got killed and for that we don't have to worry about memorial services we get to celebrate the fact that we didn't have any loss of life," Hardin said.

Today Hardin said he thinks back and remembers how, even through the hardest of times, the community came together.

"We went through a tornado, we went through recovery and we all gained weight, we all took care of each other and that is Eastern Kentucky at its finest, we stick together," Hardin said.

Through the disaster, Hardin said he never will forget how precious the gift of life is.

Since the tornado, Hardin has worked to bring new weather sirens to Magoffin County.

Officials have also installed the CodeRED weather alert system.