Kentucky will need help, but damage is still being assessed

IARN — Over the past weekend, Mother Nature continued to show us that she has power. No matter what time of year it is, she can wield that power any way she wants to. Unless you have been living under a rock, you have seen the storm damage that happened from Arkansas all the way to Ohio on Friday night. The brunt of the damage is being seen in the town of Mayfield, Kentucky. Pictures and videos on social media show the utter destruction of a town that has been, for all intents and purposes, blown off the map.

Meteorologists that I know say it is something the likes of which they have never witnessed before. While data from the storm is still being collected, they are trying to verify how many tornadoes were spawned, how strong they were, and for how long they were on the ground. Speculation in the immediate hours that followed discussed the possibility of an EF4 or even an EF5 tornado, the likes which have not been seen in almost a decade. There are even models of the storm showing that one of those strong tornadoes could have stayed on the ground for over 200 miles, which would put it in the record books.

The most poignant story I saw was on Tick Tock on Sunday night. A woman was walking around her family farm, but you couldn’t tell a farm had ever been there. She and her daughter were the only ones who had survived, only because they hadn’t been there. There were trees that were just shredded like bombs had gone off in their trunks. You couldn’t really see the debris from the family house, barn, or machine shop. The buildings had practically been vaporized. All she had been able to find were the remains of her parents blown way out into the woods.

Colleagues in the farm broadcasting industry, from the area, have let us know that they are okay, and now they are bringing us information. Many Iowans have expressed the desire to help wherever they can. We remember all too well the wrath Mother Nature can produce after the 2020 derecho. We remember how people from other states, including Kentucky, came to help us in our time of need, and we are ready to return the favor.

The problem right now is that they are still just trying to figure out what to do and where to start.

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles told our friends in Kentucky that right now the damage is very widespread. The path of destruction is well over 200 miles, and the casualty count is easily expected to pass 100 within a few days.

For more on this story, including audio from Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles, visit the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network.

Photo By State Farm –, CC BY 2.0,



Local News