Cleanup, repairs going along 'perfectly' after EF1 tornado in Murray, KY

Cars damaged in the storm (Source: Nathan Ellgren KFVS)
Cars damaged in the storm (Source: Nathan Ellgren KFVS)

MURRAY, KY (KFVS) - Police say the cleanup and repairs are going along "perfectly" after an EF1 tornado touched down in western Kentucky on Saturday night, February 24.

On Thursday, March 8, Calloway County EMA Director Bill Call said the street department was removing brush in the worst-hit neighborhoods.

He said there was an "amazing" response and number of workers and volunteers the day after the tornado.

The home of a first responder from Murray, Kentucky was one that was directly in the path of the EF1 tornado that touched down in the city.

Allen Jones has lived and served the community of Murray his whole life. He started as a paramedic 26 years ago and is currently the Mayfield program director for Air EVAC Lifeteam.

"I've been fortunate to help many folks through natural disasters throughout my career," Jones said. "Tornadoes, flooding, fires, building collapses, but this one took out my home."

Jones said he was on his front porch around 8 p.m. on Saturday night when he saw a part of a tin roof spinning in the sky barreling toward his home. The debris ripped through his daughter's room. Luckily, no one was there.

Jones and his family immediately took cover in an interior hallway underneath a mattress when the tornado hit.

He said he and his family were shaken by the experience but no one was injured.

"I mean from the time we saw it, point of impact, until it got totally quiet was thirty seconds," Jones said. "It doesn't sound like a long time just in day to day activities, but when you're watching the ceiling roll and the house shake and you're hearing the windows explode around you. It looks like a bomb has dropped in my front yard. I mean it was a very violent thirty seconds."

Because of extensive damage to the structure, FEMA told the Jones family that their home is unlivable.

Jones said that they were prevented from cleaning up their yard for now, and were only allowed to secure the building so nothing gets inside.

He added that their insurance company has rented them a hotel room to stay in and that they're taking things minute by minute.

"We were able to get a few things out of the house with the insurance company this morning but very few, just pictures and things like that, and if we don't get to go back in there. We have memories of this place. You know my kids have played ball in this yard, they've climbed that tree they've been all over this place in eleven years. But it's just memories."

Jones was also passionate about sharing some tips to help other families to stay safe.

He said to take any weather warnings seriously and practice your emergency plan before the storm hits.

The National Weather Service said the path of the tornado was about one and a half miles and it had speeds up to 105 miles per hour.

It damaged at least 40 homes. Two homes were considered a total loss, including Jones'.

At least four businesses were also damaged, dozens of trees were uprooted and some even fell onto people's cars.

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