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American flag found in rubble, Mayfield mayor hopes for better tomorrow

While reflecting on the damage, Mayfield Mayor Kathy Stewart O’Nan saw an American flag buried in the rubble of what used to be the city’s fire station.
Published: Dec. 12, 2021 at 10:27 PM EST
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MAYFIELD, KY. (WVLT) - Mayfield Mayor Kathy Stewart O’Nan said the tornadoes that tore through the Midwest and midsouth are presenting Kentucky with one of the greatest disasters to ever hit the state.

“Our city hall was destroyed, our fire station was destroyed,” said O’Nan. “I don’t think there’s a pane of glass in any vehicle or property that the city owns that isn’t shattered.”

She shared that when she looked over at the damage Saturday morning, she tried to hold back her tears but she had to take a moment to cry at the sight of her city.

While reflecting on the damage, she saw an American flag buried in the rubble of what used to be the city’s fire station. She dug thru to reach the flag and noticed two first responders standing to the right of her.

“And I went over to them and handed it to them and immediately those two men began to fold it with the most respect,” said O’Nan. “They had been up all night; they were tired, they were dirty, and they began to fold it as gently and as beautifully as I had ever seen.”

That flag is being kept at her house to hold a place of respect for the building that stood there, housing those dedicated to serving others.

“I know in the future we will raise another flag which will represent everything that’s happened here. All the efforts of everyone, and I look forward to that day when we raise that flag of hope and security over that fire station once again.”

Kentucky Storm Damage

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear gives an update on the damage from the quad state tornado. More: https://bit.ly/3GDUSug

Posted by WVLT on Sunday, December 12, 2021

Just 40 hours after the storm hit, workers have already started moving debris out. They’re working to get enough water for the hospital to be able to function.

There are multiple foundations set up to help those impacted by these storms in Western Kentucky.

Officials set up the Western Kentucky Relief Fund that has received more than 18,000 donations from people around the United States, totaling more than $2.3 million.

Gov. Andy Beshear initially warned Sunday that the state’s overall death toll from the outbreak of twisters Friday night in Mayfield and other communities could exceed 100. But later in the day, the candle company said that while eight were confirmed dead and eight remained missing, more than 90 others had been located.

“Many of the employees were gathered in the tornado shelter and after the storm was over they left the plant and went to their homes,” said Bob Ferguson, a spokesman for the company. “With the power out and no landline they were hard to reach initially. We’re hoping to find more of those eight unaccounted as we try their home residences.”

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