Iraq War Vet Says Kentucky Tornado Damage Looks Like ‘Warzone’

by Samantha Whidden

Following the December 10th horrific storms that killed more than 75 people in Kentucky and devastated thousands, an Iraq War veteran is opening up about what he saw in the tornado-damaged areas. 

During an interview with WSAZ3, Iraq War veteran, Jeremy Harrell, described the tornado destruction as like being in a war zone. “That is more than what I saw in a combat zone. At one time. In one place.” 

Harrell, who is the Veterans Club founder, said he and his group immediately responded to the Kentucky areas that were hit hard by the tornado. “It just really looked like bombs were dropped there. Some of the vehicles where debris had hit the vehicles. It looked like they had been shot up. It was the most bizarre thing ever.”

The media outlet also reported that the Veteran’s Club provided trucks full of supplies to Western Kentucky, which had the most tornado devastation. The organization also assisted with delivering water, generators, and cleaning supplies. Harrell then recalled seeing American flags in the rubble. This left him and his crew speechless. 

“Everybody in the car was either a Vietnam veteran or a post-9/11 veteran,” he explained. “One gentleman that was with us, he couldn’t even really talk about it. And you’re talking about an Afghanistan veteran who has seen a lot. But it’s different when it’s at home.”

Harrell also shared there is a perception that this is a safe place. That things like a tornado aren’t going to happen here. “That we won’t experience these levels of trauma. But we witnessed it.”

Harrell added that he also helped tornado survivors with mental and emotional recovery. “We just hugged for a while. And we just said, ‘Hey, we’ll pray for you. Here’s our contact information. We’ll try to do everything we can.”

National Weather Service Issues Storm Damage Summaries Detailing Tornado Devastation in Several States 

On Saturday (December 18th) the National Weather Service (NWS) issued storm damage summers that detailed the amount of tornado devastation several states experienced the night of December 10th and the early morning hours of December 11th. The tornadoes collapsed an occupied candle factory in Mayfield, Kentucky, an Amazon warehouse near Edwardsville, Illinois, and a nursing home in Monette, Arkansas. 

“The National Weather Service confirmed 61 tornadoes and several long-track tornadoes,” the organization declared. “The storms traveled from Arkansas towards the Great Lakes.”

Kentucky’s hard-hit area, which included Mayfield and Dawson Springs, reportedly had an EF 4 tornado touchdown and had estimated wind speeds of 190. Its path length was 165.7 miles. After the storm, the NWS stated it began conducting storm damage surveys. The eight surveys include tornado track paths, photographs, radar imagery, and storm reports from the damage that has been examined up to this point.