Mayfield Tornado 2021 and My Seamless Gutter Company

Mayfield Tornado 2021 and My Seamless Gutter Company

Mayfield Tornado 2021 and My Seamless Gutter Company

Here are a few of my experiences being a seamless gutter company in Western
Kentucky after the devastating tornado hit Mayfield KY on Dec 10, 2021.

With much grace this devastating tornado did not come through my immediate
area. As it was 1 mile wide and winds knocking on the door of 200mph in a
circular motion of course. Which i have been told circular 200 is way different
than 200 straight. EF4 produce catastrophic damage. This was not an ordinary
night nor was this a n ordinary storm. I sometimes ask myself why tornados do
not have names like hurricanes do, anyways that’s a side note.. I want to
concentrate on my experiences, my thoughts, and my insight of being a
contractor in this arear the days, weeks, and years after a major tornado. Here
we go.

To start with on that Friday the storm hit there was a buzz going around
about a system heading towards us later that afternoon. I never really give any
additional thoughts to “bad” storms unless my mom calls and tells me
about a “bad” storm coming. Well, this day I received the call early
from mother about what’s coming. Now i must tell you i do not have local news
except by an antenna i have connected in my office for background noise, and I
do not regularly check Facebook-Internet about weather. So, with my limited
exposure to local goings-ons I truly did forget about the warnings. I went
about my day doing paperwork and finished up my week on a high note. I crawled
into bed at my normal 9pm time and went to sleep without a care in the world.

I woke up Saturday morning to a call from one of my employees that had been
in Mayfield all night digging through the candle factory looking for people
that still might be alive. I had to ask at least 3 times what the heck was he
trying to tell me. There was total devastation and Chris was right in the
middle of it. I immediately asked if there was anything i could do. He was
literally in shock and stated that there was no way i was going to be able to
help because the area was closed off by authorities and no one was allowed in.
I wanted to help but honestly i knew i would probably just be in the way so i
stayed away Saturday and Sunday.

We had a gutter job going on in Mayfield Friday afternoon and we weren’t
done with it yet. So, when all my guys showed up Monday morning i told them i
was heading to Harbor Freight, buying tarps and we were going to Mayfield to
see if there was anywhere we could help. I couldn’t get in touch with my
customer so I had no idea if the house i was working on was there or not. We
headed to Mayfield about 8am Monday morning. As we got closer to Mayfield you
could feel an ominous mood. You could see desperation and disbelief the closer
you got to the Mayfield bridge by the Maplewood Cemetery. As you pull up the
small bridge there was obvious signs of something terrible had happened. The
trees were littered with trash 20-30 feet in the air. When i got to the top of
the bridge OMG! My eyes couldn’t process exactly what i was seeing. Buildings
Gone! Trees Gone! Street Signs, Street Lights, People’s Lives Gone! Shambles!

We stayed the course. My first thoughts were to make sure my customer was
still there. We made our way through the mayhem to my customer’s home. She was
located on the south side of Mayfield and luckily, she was home. Although they
had no power they had been missed by the storm. We stayed to help them clean up
around their home then we headed into the most affected areas. There was a
distinct line cut through that town. We concentrated our time on Oak St
specifically. Everything on the north side of Oak St was beyond belief, those
houses were gone. The homes on the south side of Oak St were still standing but
not without major damage. Roofs gashed open with trees, metal sheets, and all
manners of debris. The windows were blown out, the sides of homes had gaping
holes in them, limbs and metal still stuck into the walls. The power of this
event was overwhelming.

We found a place to park between the downed power lines and debris that were
spread all over the place. We Started walking and knocking on doors. Charles, a
bearded man with little to his name answered the door. He was one of the most
pleasant people i have ever met. He was visually shaken. He was haggard in his
appearance. He was a hugger, yes you read that right he wanted hugs from all of
us. He was grateful. He was also in need. The entire rear part of his home had
been blown off. There was water damage and of course wind damage inside his
home. With places he could have gone to weather out the next few weeks
available to him, he made an adamant decision to stay in his home no matter
what the conditions. We asked him if we could tarp the roof, windows, and holes
in the side of his home, with welling tears in his eyes he said YES. My guys
and I spent the next few days getting his house buttoned up. We also put tarps
on the neighbor’s home. By the time Friday came around there were many
organizations handing out food. Handing out water, gas, heating oil, water, diapers,
anything anyone needed to live through this disaster. I always checked in with
Charles whenever we had jobs in Mayfield over the next few months. He recovered
completely and is still as pleasant as always, and still a hugger.

I now will lead this experience out over the next few weeks. The calls
started to flood in for gutter, fascia, siding, and soffit work. One of the
homes in the path of tornado was a home we had completely recovered in 2020.
All the work we had done to that house was damaged in one way or another. the
siding had taken major debris damage. The gutters and soffit had been blown
off. The roof had to be replaced. We did this house twice within a year. I had
one job for a new home by Kentucky Lake that was on the schedule for the end of
January 22. I called the customer the week before we were to start his job and
he had to tell me to hold off on doing it because the house was gone,
completely gone. No house just the foundation was left. This story carried out
at least 3 more times over the next month. As we worked our way around Mayfield
and surrounding areas we had to dodge around all of the cleanup crews that were
literally crawling over every square foot of this tiny town. Everyone was
polite and patient. That would be a theme throughout this ordeal. Polite and

As more organizations arrived in these small town’s things started to get
back to normal. I am currently still working in Mayfield, Eddyville, Dawson
Springs, and all the areas that took damage. I am still putting gutters on homes,
but the difference is there are tons of new family homes being built in the devastated
areas. For me I am happy that many people are investing time and money in these
areas. I am just a small part of a much larger effort to make all these areas a
better place to live. Signing off for now. Ken

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