Kentucky tornado toll less than feared at factory

…from Politico

[ Editor’s Note: These four tornados just before Christmas will leave scars long remembered through the counties they passed through. One left a 200 mile trail of devastation, not just of the physical destruction but the broken dreams and lost hopes kind, scars of the mind.

For some death was cruel and lingering, as construction debris on top of them slowly snuffed their lives. For others it came quickly, as for Lannis Ward working next to his girl friend Autumn Kirks, when he just disappeared in a flash.

“I remember taking my eyes off of him for a second, and then he was gone,” she said.

“It was indescribable,” Pastor Joel Cauley said of the disaster scene. “It was almost like you were in a twilight zone. You could smell the aroma of candles, and you could hear the cries of people for help. Candle smells and all the sirens is not something I ever expected to experience at the same time.”

All events like this will typically be cited as the effects of climate change. It might be right, and maybe not. Only time will tell. Those in threatened areas will be part of a huge weather roulette wheel that randomly picks winners and losers, and never has any regrets.

The West Coast had predicted a dry winter with expected devastating consequences for water resources and fires next summer, but a two day blizzard moving in will dump a huge amount of snow in the mountains and has the skis resorts jumping for joy to pull in some badly needed revenue.

The Gulf Coast people took a harsh hammering this year with multiple hurricanes. All of above appears to be the permanent climate backdrop we will be living with for some time… Jim W. Dean ]

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First published … December 13, 2021

MAYFIELD, Ky. — Workers on the night shift at Mayfield Consumer Products were in the middle of the holiday rush, cranking out candles, when a tornado closed in on the factory and the word went out: “Duck and cover.”

Autumn Kirks pulled down her safety goggles and took shelter, tossing aside wax and fragrance buckets to make room. She glanced away from her boyfriend, Lannis Ward, and when she looked back, he was gone.

…Gov. Andy Beshear initially said Saturday that only 40 of the 110 people working in the factory at the time were rescued, and that “it’ll be a miracle if anybody else is found alive in it.” But on Sunday, the candle company said that while eight were confirmed dead and eight remained missing, more than 90 others had been located.

…At the candle factory, rescuers had to crawl over the dead to get to the living at a disaster scene that smelled like scented candles.

…Layers of steel and cars 15 feet deep were on top of what used to the factory roof, the governor said.

You can read the full article at Politico here.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Tornado is a reaper of souls… I bring my condolences to all the families who suffered: lost family, loved ones, housing, personal belongings…. This is a force majeure tragedy of irresistible force. Recently, about 60 miners and rescuers died in Russia. But that’s a completely different story. History of safety rules violations. Which are written in blood.
    Friends, write in the comments: people who lost everything because of a tornado, how will the state help them? Did they have insurance against natural disasters? Will people be able to get new housing, cars?
    The saddest thing is…not to return the dead anymore. This is a tragedy. My condolences, friends.

    • Help for the families will vary. Insurance cannot be estimated as home insurance usually will have optional selections if people will pay more. I know that in hurricane, near the water areas, you have to have a ‘rider’ to have coverage. It might be the same for tornados. Federal disaster funds come quickly to put people into hotels, get them transportation, and a jump start for getting back to work. Often it requires people moving to where jobs are. But now housing has gone up, as have rentals after Biden took office.

    • Thank you for your reply, Jim!
      At any rate, it is a great loss and a grief for those poor people…

  2. There are many interesting facets to this,..and several branches of synchronous data are beyond, normal. One story was the inmates who were working there, all got out alive, but the guard in charge of them did not. I hired prison labor for a short time way back. We paid $1.67 per hour, and the state (La.) paid the other half. More than a few of the workers were highly skilled masons and bricklayers. The company who owns this place has massive capital, and along with the founder of the town, direct ties back to the Indian Removal Act of 1830 and were integral in the Trail of Tears. Edwardsville also. The candles and the presents,….and the tears. And the timing, is beyond bizarre also. None of this is normal. It is a teachable moment.

    • Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in 1911 NYC. All about the shekels. No one should be working in a factory at night. Safety should be No. 1 concern wherever there is a density of workforce. Hopefully, many more did survive.

    • Thanks for your input Dave. We will keep an eye on what happens here. From what I have seen when living in the South, the prison labor grift is split with those up the line. The easiest and safest way for some of it is via campaign donations. Americans would all have heart attacks if they knew how long this have been going on. And you don’t have to ask. State judge have to run for office, also.