UPDATE: Junction City recovering from tornadoes Saturday

Early Saturday morning, two tornadoes tore through Boyle County. According to the National Weather Service, the tornado that impacted Airport Road in Junction City was at least an EF-2 tornado.

UPDATED STORY POSTED DECEMBER 15, 2021 AT 5:30 P.M.

JUNCTION CITY, Ky. (WTVQ) – A community is continuing to clean up after tornadoes stretched from far Western Kentucky to Boyle County. The Airport Road corridor of Junction City was the hardest-hit area in Boyle County.

Chelsea Hardin, who lives on Airport Road just across the street from the Danville-Boyle County Airport, says the loss of her family’s home Saturday is still difficult for her to process.

“Nobody prepares you for like, I guess the PTSD of after because you’re fine when you have everyone around you, but when you’re alone, it just replays in your head and you just don’t realize certain noises will set you off,” said Hardin.

According to preliminary results from the National Weather Service in Louisville, two separate tornadoes hit Boyle County early Saturday morning. The tornado that hit the Hardin home, as well as the rest of Airport Road, had winds of about 122 miles per hour, making it at least an EF-2 tornado.

The home, which Hardin says had been in the family for several generations, was recently refurbished. Now, it’s a total loss, and Hardin and her family are salvaging what they can of their belongings and clearing out drywall and debris. Even through her family’s hardship, she thinks of everyone impacted in Western Kentucky.

“But then again through all this we are so fortunate, there’s so many other families who’ve been through so much, so much worse, that I just can’t even imagine,” said Hardin.

Across the street at the Danville-Boyle County Airport, damaged hangars are being patched, and destroyed aircraft are being taken away. Danville-Boyle County Airport Operations Manager Nick Barker says the debris should be cleared up in the next couple of weeks.

“A lot of the local community, they’re bringing food and snacks out for us which is great, that helps lift spirits. Everybody’s just coming together trying to make the best of the situation,” said Barker.

Hardin says she’s just thankful she has her family.

“I have my family, I have my kids, I have my husband, I even have my animals, and that’s more important than any gift, or anything I could ever ask for,” said Hardin.

ORIGINAL STORY POSTED DECEMBER 11, 2021 AT 7:28 P.M.

JUNCTION CITY, Ky. (WTVQ) – A community is working to rebuild after severe weather early Saturday morning.

In the early hours of Saturday morning, Kentucky experienced tornadoes in Western Kentucky and severe weather throughout the state, prompting Governor Andy Beshear to declare a state of emergency.

The Hardin Family lives on Airport Road in Junction City, the hardest-hit area in Boyle County. Jeremy and Chelsea Hardin say it began with a ‘popping’ sound at around 3:30 A.M.

“I was holding onto my son, he was holding onto the back of my arms, and holding onto me, screaming, and it only lasted about 15 seconds and after that we called our in-laws, and once I calmed down a bit they came and got us,” said Chelsea Hardin.

The Hardins lost power minutes later, and began to notice their roof detaching from their house. It wasn’t until daylight that they realized how extensive the damage was, according to Jeremy Hardin.

“It was starting to collapse, and we had to hurry up and get out. We come back an hour later and it was completely collapsed in,” said Chelsea Hardin.

The Hardins’ extended family, living in the three houses that surround the Hardins, also experienced severe property damage, though neither the Hardins or their extended family were hurt.

“Hold your babies tight. Because you just never know,” said Hardin.

Across the street from the Hardins, the Danville-Boyle County Airport lost multiple hangars and about 12 aircraft are considered a total loss.

“Especially when you have an aircraft here that’s mangled up in all this rubble, just really disheartening,” said Danville-Boyle County Airport Operations Manager Nick Barker.

T. Jay Preston, who lives with 2 friends just across the street from the Hardins and next to the airport, experienced no severe losses. He said he heard nothing, not even the storm sirens, in the early hours Saturday morning.

“Like I said, and there’s me and two of my friends that live up here and, like I put it, God was looking over us then,” said Preston.

The Hardins will be moving in with their in-laws, who experienced some damage to their house. The Hardins say they’re not sure what’s next.

“I’m just going to take every day as I can and my family cannot be replaced. That stuff can be replaced. We’re just very happy to be alive,” said Hardin.

According to Danville/Boyle County EMS Director Mike Wilder, there are no known injuries or deaths from Saturday morning’s weather.

The National Weather Service in Louisville is surveying the area as the site of a possible tornado.

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