'I see it when I go to sleep': Kentuckians still reeling from tornado hope to see rebuild

Mayfield  tornado damage
Posted at 11:46 PM, Dec 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-15 11:57:00-05

MAYFIELD, Ky. — A Mayfield restaurant owner placed an American flag where his restaurant once was, hoping to unite a town impacted by this weekend's storms.

When the tornado ripped through his town, Wayne Flind was in his car.

"I told my brother, 'We're going to die right now,'" Flind said. "'We're going to die right here on this road.'"

He survived, but the restaurant he and his wife own, Carr's Barn, is gone.

"My wife is about to lose it," Flind said. "This was where she's come every day of her 54 years. This is her history."

Flind said he wants to rebuild the restaurant for his wife — and the entire community.

"You still gotta believe there's hope," Flind said. "Everybody come out every day, and they're driving by and there's nothing but destruction. If I get a wall going up here, they're going to say, 'Look, we are going to build back.'"

Mayfield resident Paula Dupee said she also wants to see the town rebuilt. Her home, a senior living complex, is now condemned.

"What is this town going to do? I pray to God that we're going to be able to rebuild and make Mayfield back to Mayfield," Dupee said. "We will never forget this — never. I still at night…I hear the noise of that train, but it wasn't a train. It was a tornado."

Dupee is not the only one. Timothy Andreasen said he still hears the chaos.

"All I heard was glass breaking, shattering," Andreasen said. "I hear it when I go to sleep, I see it when I go to sleep."

Andreasen and his family took cover in a hallway when the tornado hit. After it passed, the only part of the roof left standing was the part covering them.

"I thank God every day that he protected us," Andreasen said.

Andreasen said he is still in disbelief. He said if he did not have his kids that night, he would have been watching the storm from his front steps and likely would have been killed.

Now, he and so many others across Kentucky are picking up the pieces of what is left following the storm.