The aftermath of a deadly tornado strike this past weekend leaves survivors searching for the light at the end of the tunnel. This is both metaphorically and literally true for one Kentucky survivor, who found her way crawling through a hole to save her life after her home collapsed.
Deanna Badillo of Mayfield, Kentucky heard the storm approaching with literal seconds to spare. She ran into her hallway just as the devastating tornado ripped through her home, trapping her in the rubble. Though traumatic, Badillo went into survivor mode.
She called the experience one that felt like it was “out of body.”
“I didn’t see anything… but what I felt I can’t explain that to you. I can’t explain what it feels like to stand here and tell you what I went through,” Badillo says via WHAS 11 in Kentucky.
Climbing Out to Safety
Speaking to the news crew in front of what was once her home, Badillo showed the hole she was able to crawl through. She barely escaped death. But she was alive. And that’s not the only good news.
During the chaos of the strike, Badillo parted ways with her small dog. When the storm hit, the Kentucky woman believed her dog was dead.
However, after surviving the worst of the devastation, Badillo was reunited with her dog. She found shelter with a neighbor until the storm passed through.
“It’s the little things that matter- that little dog every bit of her matters.”
But not everyone was as lucky as Badillo and her precious pup. Several in her neighborhood perished in the aftermath – with many still missing. A 4-year-old boy in her town died after getting stuck in the wreckage of his home.
However, volunteers have shown up to the town to help its residents repair. Stoically, the Kentuckians are coming together to rebuild.
One volunteer said she hopes to lend help wherever she can.
“There’s people that lost everything, lost family, people that haven’t been found yet. We’re so blessed and I hate for those families and I’m praying for them.” said Lorie Delapp, a Groves County resident.
Mayor Offers Words of Encouragement Following Tornado Damage
Mayfield Mayor Kathy Stewert O’Nan offered words of encouragement following the incredible destruction to the Kentucky town. She offered hope in a time of tragedy.
“What I did see though, and I’ve seen them pop up all over town as I drove around yesterday, the American flag from our fire station No.1 was damaged in the rubble across the street from the bank,” O’Nan said. “I got the flag, I walked across the street, I picked up the flag and I handed it to two of our firefighters who immediately began to fold in … that ceremonial, beautiful pattern.
“I thought, here we are standing in this rubble and the most important thing to us is being so tenderly taken care of. That flag is now safely in my care, and we will fly that flag ceremoniously when we recover.”