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A month after deadly tornadoes, cleanup continues in Kentucky as many wait to rebuild

Tornadoes Going Home
Posted at 10:58 AM, Jan 10, 2022

A month after the National Weather Service says 66 powerful tornadoes created a path of destruction through Kentucky and seven other states, many are still working to clear their properties so they can start to rebuild.

The Kentucky governor's office says at least 13 people died in Hopkins County, located in the western part of the state. Those who survived still face a long road to recovery, which includes rebuilding entire communities.

Hopkins County resident Billy Wells is retired and spends all of his time helping the community organize tear-downs, tree removals and helping media officials find residents with stories to share.

Weeks after the storm, Wells says there are several neighborhoods in the county where all that remains are piles of debris. He says the homes that are still standing are scheduled to be torn down.

Wells also helped crews clear a pathway so photographer Tandy Cook could get up the road to what's left of her property.

Cook says she plans to rebuild her home, but right now, she's focused on gathering the small keepsakes that she lost when the tornado hit. Countless photos of hers ended up in states away, blown for miles by the power of the storms.

"Most of our pictures ended up in Elizabeth, Indiana, or as far as Louisville and La Grange," Cook said. "But I was very thankful to get all of those."

This story was originally published by Tammy Estwick and Stephanie Sandoval for Newsy.

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