Kentucky Residents Work To Rebuild 9 Months After Deadly Tornado

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Kentucky Residents Work To Rebuild 9 Months After Deadly Tornado
Local construction groups, along with other community groups, helped build 20 tiny homes for families in need.

It's the sound of progress, as the city of Mayfield, Kentucky rebuilds.  

Nine months later, things are looking up after an EF4 tornado ripped through Mayfield, destroying historic buildings and homes in the small city of about 10,000 people.  

Several organizations are helping families affected by the deadly tornado get back on their feet.  

Samaritan's Purse is one of them. The plan is to build around 100 new homes, free to homeowners.  

Samaritan's Purse dedicated it's second home this week.  

Angela Taylor and Ricky Jones are the proud owners.  

"This is like a dream come true," said Taylor. "I'm so happy to have this home."

Every home is equipped with a bathroom that also serves as a storm shelter.

Nine months later, lots of people are still rebuilding their homes, waiting to move back in.

About five minutes away from downtown Mayfield, there is temporary housing for some of those affected families. They're called "tiny homes" and families can stay there until they can get into permanent housing.

Local construction groups, along with other community groups, helped build 20 tiny homes for families in need.

They come fully stocked with food and other necessities. The only thing families are responsible for is paying the electricity bill.  

The goal is to get as many families in and out of these tiny homes as possible.

Shamber Carrico and her family were among the first to move into a tiny temporary home back in March. Her tiny home is located near their actual home, currently under construction.    

"My husband went upstairs and pretty much the whole top floor was almost gone on one side of the house," said Carrico.

Living in a temporary home allows her to stay in her community.

"When you lose your house and you get displaced somewhere so far from your town, your community, and then you get to come back, it's very overwhelming. Very overwhelming," said Carrico.

As for the city itself, it is still in clean up mode. Many buildings still need to be torn down, streetlights put back in working order, debris swept off the streets.

Mayfield Rebuilds, a group of volunteers helping the city, is looking for input from the public on how they want to rebuild the city.  

Members of the community sat down with urban planner Mark Arnold to talk about Mayfield's future. Residents say they are excited to build back better.

"I'd like to see the diverse groups be more melded together and not so much division. And I think this is a great opportunity," said Judith Tuggle, a Mayfield resident.

"I would love to see even our rebuild efforts of downtown urban allow us to have opportunities to spend time together, you know, be together, not just go to appointments, but really cross paths with people," said Pastor Al Chandler, of Northside Baptist Church. "We need to spend time together. And that's what the community needs."

Lifelong resident Jill Celaya is leading the effort.   

"Every day we face that destruction. And it's just so nice to be talking about the future and something hopeful," said Celaya. "I would love for this to be a place that our children want to perhaps go off to college, but then come back and live here and raise their families here because it is a perfect place to raise a family."