“We’re blessed”: town recovers from E-F1 tornado

Union City came together to help families clean up damage left from Saturday's tornado.

UNION CITY, Ky. (WTVQ) – Many people in Madison County are working together to clean up and recover after an E-F1 tornado touched down Saturday in Union City. Blessed is the first word people of Union City use to describe the aftermath of Saturday’s tornado.

“It could’ve been a whole lot worse,” says Ralph Oliver Jr., a country store owner. “We just, we’re blessed and people need to be thankful.”

Sunday truly showed the love the Union City community has for one another.

“This community’s always came together,” says Eddie Goode, a deputy sheriff. “I couldn’t live in a better place.”

The Ruritan Club put together a hot, home-cooked meal in 7 hours on Sunday for people impacted by Saturday’s tornado and nothing but smiles and laughter filled the room.

“We’re a very knit, close-knit, so we try to take care of each other,” says Marty Sewell, member of the Union City Ruritan Club. “We’re almost like one big huge family.”

People at Sunday’s dinner say their phones have been ringing off the hook with friends and neighbors calling to check in and see how they can help. Patricia Oliver was at home with her 3-year-old son when the tornado came through, smashing her car with a tree and knocking over many more trees across the property.

“Our driveway is like people come, they work as long as they can, and it seems like when they pulled out, somebody else pulled in,” says Patricia.

The Union City community says they’re grateful no one was hurt or killed in the storms, especially on the heels of the deadly tornadoes in western Kentucky.

“What we all can be thankful for is everything can be replaced,” says Sewell. “There’s no lives lost, no animals lost.”

Like in the case with the Olivers, the Goode family also had a close call with the tornado but just feels thankful no one was home when it happened.

“Just the fact that my daughters are safe is blessing enough for me,” says Goode. “The house can be replaced, even though it belonged to my grandmother and had been in the family for years, especially that big tree that blew down had a lot of sentimental value, but none as much as my daughters.”

While some families say the damage could take up to a year to fix, they know they have their community to lean on and support them through it.

“We just feel blessed,” says Goode.

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