West Liberty still rebuilding five years after deadly tornado
WEST LIBERTY, Ky. (WTVQ)- Scars left behind from a deadly tornado are still visible in Morgan County, five years later.
It was on March 2, 2012 when an EF-3 tornado made its way over a hilltop, into the community of Woodsbend, before it moved on to destroy downtown West Liberty. Those living there will never forget it, including West Liberty’s police chief, Kelse Hensley.
“Folks began to come running through this door actually kind of panicked,” says Hensley.
He and other city employees recall piling into a stairwell for safety. Hensley remembers what he though when he emerged from the building.
“I looked around at the damage and overturned cars and I’m thinking we’re going to have a lot of dead folks but fortunately that wasn’t the case.”
Little did folks in West Liberty know, prior to their destruction, Woodsbend had been leveled, five people dying in the carnage. West Liberty’s current mayor Mark Walter says he had worked in Woodsbend that day and remembers seeing debris scattered as far as the eye could see.
In total, six people were killed in Morgan County as the tornado carved out a 95-mile path throughout eastern Kentucky.
Mayor Walter says he’s happy with how far the county has come in the past five years.