Kentucky family hid in closet as tornado ripped through home

Mayfield Tornadoes
Posted at 12:17 AM, Dec 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-14 11:01:59-05

MAYFIELD, Ky. — Small pockets of Mayfield, Kentucky serve as reminders of what once was: Clothes still hang in closets, shelves still stand alone — but those things are only visible because the walls, roofs and siding were ripped off homes in a tornado.

Heather Prince's home is one of many destroyed. She and her two children were hiding in a closet when the tornado ripped through her home this weekend.

"The whole house — it felt like the whole house was shaking, but it went really fast," Prince said. "[I was] freaking out because water was leaking into the closet — my oldest son was sick and he was hyperventilating."

Prince was rescued by her step-daughter after the tornado passed. When she finally got out, she said she was not expecting to see what she saw. Everything was gone.

"Everybody in this town struggles anyway, and now they're going to struggle more," Prince said. "And more people are homeless than before."

Prince was able to go back to her home today, finding only a few salvageable items. Her neighbors were also left with nothing. Still, she said, her family is alive and they found their cat alive — a glimmer of hope in a gloomy situation.

She said she is numb at this point, taking things day by day.

Gov. Andy Beshear said 74 Kentuckians have died after several tornadoes tore through the state. Around 109 people are still missing, though Beshear said he believes that number is probably higher. Teams are still combing through rubble in multiple counties.

If you or someone you know would like to donate to relief efforts, click here.

RELATED: 74 people now confirmed dead after western KY tornadoes
RELATED: Northern Kentucky mom raises thousands to help daughter with Bowling Green recovery efforts