Tornado changes lives, not souls, in West Liberty, Kentucky

West Liberty, Kentucky, a small mountain town, was turned upside down when a powerful tornado went through Friday, March 2. Walking around, checking in with affected families, it’s easy to learn that everybody knows somebody whose life was changed that afternoon, including David May, who was scheduled to preach before the tornado hit.

David May, 59, believes that hope and character will come from the suffering brought upon the people of West Liberty, Kentucky, by the March 2 tornado. Photo credit: Lynette Nyman/American Red Cross

“People said no one would come,” says May. Four people showed up for services on Sunday morning and stood near what’s left of West Liberty Christian Church. “The building is gone, but the church is still there,” says May. Fortunately for May, he has a place to stay over the hill, an area that was spared from destruction.

But his childhood home, like that of many here, will not be habitable for a long time, if ever. “The town is probably over,” says May, who expects that the old people won’t be back. If he had small children, he’d move them out. “This devastation and the shock and the work that’s to be done, well, I’d take them to another town for a while.”

Four people attended Sunday services outside the building remains of West Liberty Christian Church in Kentucky following the tornado on March 2. Photo credit: Lynette Nyman/American Red Cross
Four people attended Sunday services outside the building remains of West Liberty Christian Church in Kentucky following the tornado on March 2. Photo credit: Lynette Nyman/American Red Cross

It’s only a few days into the recovery and many still have no idea what they can keep or rebuild. Even May, whose church recently donated a bus and supplies to ongoing earthquake recovery in Haiti, has a touch of hope that the homeland he loves and has lived in all of his life will find a fresh start.

“I’d like to see us start over,” says May. “Maybe we will.”

If you would like to help people affected by disasters like tornadoes and floods, you can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting http://www.redcrossmn.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to your local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

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