Former Mayfield, Ky., resident talks about devastation

Published: Dec. 13, 2021 at 9:42 PM CST
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - It’s the aftermath of a disaster, something we are all too familiar with in Southwest Louisiana.

Having just dealt with our own, smaller tornado and of course more than our fair share of hurricanes.

One woman living in Lake Charles now is, actually, from one of the hardest-hit areas in Kentucky.

Janel Hummel, a teacher in Lake Charles, spent most of her life living in Mayfield, Kentucky.

“Two of my daughters graduated from Graves County High School in Mayfield... and my son was born there,” Hummel said. “So, it’s kind of sentimental.”

The place she once called home is now unrecognizable, ground zero in Friday’s deadly tornado.

“Actually, I was watching some videos, and I go, ‘I don’t even remember what that was’ because it was so bad,” Hummel said. “But yes, you can see some of the streets in town that where, you know, gas stations were and the churches. There’s, you know like I said, a couple of churches have been destroyed. They just don’t look the same, and you almost don’t recognize it.”

The images of the devastation look nothing like the town she knew.

But just like Southwest Louisiana, she knows when disaster strikes Mayfield, the community will come together to help each other.

“There were people out there the day of, from what some of my friends have been telling me,” Hummel said. “Out there the day of helping their neighbors. Anybodys got a chainsaw, they’re out helping. So, that’s just the type of place it is.”

It’s a community that prayed for Southwest Louisiana after disaster struck, and Hummel hopes we will now return the favor.

“I had friends that prayed for this community from there when all our tornado disasters were happening and just realizing that, you know, now is our turn to pay that back,” Hummel said.

The process of getting back on their feet is only starting for those struck by the powerful tornados that hit at least six different states.

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