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‘Mayfield’s dead’: US city’s residents plead for help in tornado aftermath

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MAYFIELD, KENTUCKY - DECEMBER 12: Angela Kirks who lost her house is seen as tornado hit Mayfield, Kentucky, United States on December 12, 2021. ( Tayfun Coşkun - Anadolu Agency )
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Dec 13, 2021 - 12:05 PM

MAYFIELD, US (AA) – As search and rescue efforts remain underway in Mayfield, Kentucky in the aftermath of a powerful tornado, residents of the city who lost their homes and businesses are struggling to recover from the devastating disaster.

From Friday night into Saturday, at least 30 tornadoes ripped through six states, including Kentucky, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Arkansas, leaving more than 100 people dead.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Wayne Flant said he was running a restaurant in Mayfield with his wife, which he said had lots of customers before the disaster.

“As you can see, we’re not gonna have none for a while,” he said.

He said he was worried about people with no power and no water.

“They can’t go get a motel room. They don’t have family here. I don’t know what they’ll do, and that’s the part that kills me.

“We need help. There’s a lot of people here with nowhere to go,” he added.

Daren Stewart, who has been living in Kentucky for 30 years, called ground zero of the powerful tornado in the western part of the state a “disaster.”

“I’m doing my best to try to help the community the best I can. That’s what we’re doing here,” said Stewart.

Shyheim McCampbell, another Mayfield resident, said the city was not prepared for the deadly tornado.

“Everything’s gone. Mayfield’s dead, and we’re just trying to bring it back to life,” he said. “It’s gonna be hard. It’s gonna take some time, but we can do it.”

“We need help…not only just reparation help, but we need help stabilizing the citizens of this city because we don’t know what’s next. We see our homes and our families’ homes gone,” McCampbell said.

Kendra Patocki, who works for a disaster recovery team called SERVPRO, came to Mayfield from Michigan to help authorities Sunday and said she was hopeful of getting the city back on the road to recovery.

Patocki said she has been to many storm sites before, but this one was “pretty devastating” for her.

Thousands of people in Mayfield are facing housing, water and power shortages, and earlier in the day, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear asked the federal government to declare a “major disaster” in the state.

The Biden administration declared a federal emergency in Kentucky on Saturday.

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