Tornado survivor still displaced almost a year after tornadoes in Western Kentucky
WESTERN KENTUCKY (WTVQ) — This weekend marks one year since storms ravaged parts of Western Kentucky.
Since then, there’s been a lot of rebuilding, a lot of waiting and a lot of gratitude.
“I just want my house built, sit in my backyard and around my fire, I’ll be happy,” recalls Lilly Riherd, who lost her home during the tornadoes last year in Bowling Green.
Almost a year later, some have rebuilt new homes, and have officially moved in.
“I, you know you’re just numb, like, is this real,?” she adds.
As the anniversary inches closer, Riherd is still without a home.
“The week prior I’d had a knee replacement, so my son that lives in Jersey City to come down to help me during that time, well, then his husband came in so we had the two of them, and then my grandson,” she also said about the night of the storms.
She says her home at the time didn’t have a basement, but it had a cellar, she decided to move her family out of harm’s way and wait for the storms to pass by.
“We got down in there and if you will hunker down and I told the guys I said it’s gonna get real still and quiet for a little bit and then it’s going to hit and sure enough it did and then it hit and the house was shaking, then all sudden you hear glass going everywhere,” she also said
As Riherd and her family waited to make sure the storms were gone, what came next are images Lilly will never forget.
Her neighbor called her to tell her his front tree had fallen on her house.
“We waited a little bit to make sure everything was okay, he then went upstairs to assess the damages. Sure enough, his big old maple tree of all over the top of my house crushed in the better power the second story,” said Riherd.
Even with the destruction in front of her eyes, and the years of memories in a home destroyed in matter of seconds, Lilly was optimistic.
“Well, you know always wanted new replacement windows. I guess I’m finally gonna get them. I didn’t realize I was gonna get a whole new house.”
What came next, were battles that Lilly never envisioned.
“I didn’t even qualify for an SBA loan because I had insurance. This year has been kind of a bad year, but it’s been very challenging. My mom had fallen, she’s in her upper 80’s. And then my father had dementia and everything went downhill, we lost him in September. So it’s not been peaches and cream all year long,” she says.
Lilly hopes that other tornado survivors are not forgotten, especially those who like her are still displaced.
“But there’s a lot of people unfortunate you know, sure I could use some more funds because I’m not going to have enough money to rebuild my house, which is not fair to me,” she says.
Riherd says she is hopeful she will move into her new home sometime in April.