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West Liberty Kentucky Tornado

March 3, 2012 by staff 

West Liberty Kentucky Tornado, Carol Rhodes picked through the debris of her life Saturday morning, clutching four VHS tapes to her chest and sobbing as she talked about her neighbors, the Allens.

Debbie and Sherman Wayne Allen were killed when violent storms ripped through northern and eastern Kentucky around dusk Friday. Just one ridge over from the Allens’ home another couple was killed, bringing the death toll to 19 in Kentucky and more than 35 across the nation.

“They were the best neighbors,” Rhodes said. “You couldn’t ask for no better.”

Details slowly emerged Saturday morning as rescue workers began surveying the damage to areas hit Friday afternoon and evening. Small communities across Kentucky seemed to bear the brunt of the storm front, which spawned tornados from the Gulf Coast into Virginia and north to Indiana and Ohio.

Laurel County, 70 miles south of Lexington, where Rhodes and her neighbors were picking up the pieces, had five deaths reported by mid-morning. The tiny town of West Liberty, 93 miles east of Lexington, was rocked as well with five deaths.

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