Kentucky residents pick up the pieces after devastating tornadoes
By Alvaro Blanco
Cambridge Shores, United States, Dec 15 (EFE).- Whenever he had a chance, Jerry Hill would escape to his cabin on Kentucky Lake to enjoy the views of endless lush and leafy greenery.
“It used to be beautiful, but not anymore,” Hill tells Efe after a tornado on Friday destroyed his holiday home and reduced its surroundings into rubble and chaos.
Cambridge Shores, a neighborhood of Kentucky Lake where Hill’s house is located, is one of the most devastated areas after some 30 tornadoes hit southern and midwestern areas of the United States Friday last week.
Hill is one of the dozens of homeowners to have lost their homes and belongings.
“When I arrived it was all different from what it used to be, the trees were gone and the landscape was totally different,” he says.
Cambridge Shores has lost not only most of its houses but with it its spirit and its residents’ joy.
“I had not seen anything like this in my life,” Gustavo Rosas Mendoza, a volunteer who has been helping in the recovery of the neighborhood, tells Efe.
The houses in Cambridge Shores, from small cabins like Hill’s to million-dollar mansions, will never be worth the same now that the landscape around it has been destroyed and the area has lost its main attractions; nature and relaxation.
But despite the sad vein that now flows through the neighborhood, some residents remain optimistic.
Hill plans to rebuild his house and start over, while a man wearing a pink t-shirt reading ‘Happy, Happy, Happy’ reminds his neighbours that hope must not be lost.
A total of 74 people are known to have died in Kentucky in four tornadoes late last week, Gov. Andy Beshear said, adding that this figure will probably rise in the hours and days ahead as rescue and recovery workers sift through the extensive fields of rubble left by the storms.
Fourteen people are known to have died in other states, bringing the death toll so far to 88.
Over 100 people have still not been located, he added.
The tornadoes that touched down on Friday night in Kentucky were part of a devastating series of storms that affected six US states, sparking more than 30 tornadoes throughout the region in Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri and Illinois.EFE