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30 homes damaged after tornado sweeps through Tompkinsville, cleanup efforts continue

Published: May. 3, 2021 at 10:43 PM CDT
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Tompkinsville, Ky. (WBKO) - After an EF-1 tornado was confirmed to have swept through the city of Tompkinsville, workers and volunteers spent all afternoon cleaning up the damage Monday.

“We set up an emergency operations center at our old high school gym. From there, we just burst into groups and kind of tackled it in three different sections of the county once we realized where the major damage was,” Monroe County Emergency Management Director David Rich said.

30 homes were damaged, ten of those homes were severely damaged. “Luckily, the ones that were damaged the most no one was at home at the time,” Rich said. There were no other injuries reported after the tornado hit.

Rich explained that their first priority was to get power back on, and as of Monday evening, most if not all power had been restored. Fallen tree limbs and other debris still covered the ground in parts of the town. Mayor Michael Bowe said he was impressed by how many people stepped up to help with cleanup efforts.

“I cannot say enough good things about our local fire departments, and the city workers, the county workers and just local citizens,” He said. “I was getting calls throughout the day saying ‘what can I do to help?’”

Anette Isemberg, a long-time resident of Tompkinsville heard the tornado blow through Monday morning. She said she heard it while she was working on Main Street. “It hit our building a little bit. We lost our front door,” Isemberg said.

She witnessed people coming to help repair her place of work, and after she got off she decided to give back too.

“We bought some drinks and Gatorade and snacks. We’ve just been going around the streets and if there is a clan of people, just see if there’s anyone that would like anything to eat or drink, just to offer some help that way,” Isemberg explained.

The Red Cross also stepped in to help find people whose homes were damaged a place to stay, whether a local shelter or hotel. “Within just no time The Red Cross was here,” Rich said.

Cleanup efforts will resume Tuesday morning. A shelter has been set up at the old Tompkinsville High School for those who need help during this time.

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