Volunteers build homes for Ohio County tornado survivors

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Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 5:38 PM CDT
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OHIO CO., Ky. (WFIE) - The work to get back to normal is far from over for people in Western Kentucky affected by the Dec. 10 tornadoes.

Dana Hayse has come a long way since December, when a tornado severely damaged her home.

Now she has a brand new home, and things are looking up.

”It’s beautiful, and it’s such a blessing,” said Hayse.

After the tornadoes, the Ohio County Baptist Association got to work to help by coordinating the construction of homes to replace those destroyed by the storms.

Association leaders say most of the labor is done by volunteers.

”Everybody’s just kind of joined together and worked together and helped. It’s been amazing,” said Hayse.

The Baptist Association says they have ten teams working on construction projects made up of volunteers who have come from across the country.

”To me that’s exciting, to know that people care enough to come that far to work on someone’s home that they didn’t know,” said Ohio County Baptist Association Director of Missions Matthew Sickling.

There was a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Hayse’s new home on Friday afternoon. They were joined by the president of Kentucky’s branch of Habitat for Humanity, as well as a representative from Samaritan’s Purse, and the Ohio County Judge Executive.

There was a lot of emotion as the ribbon was finally cut.

”It feels amazing. I just can’t even explain it, like what goes through my heart, it just really is amazing,” said Hayse.

Baptist Association leaders say they don’t want people to forget there’s still a need for help in Western Kentucky, and they’re still hard at work. Hayse’s home is only the first one they’ve completed.

”We’re not done yet,” said Sickling. “This is the first of probably 15.”

Hayse says her children are still a little nervous when it comes to storms. To give them a bit more peace of mind, the volunteers also built them a storm shelter, just in case.

Hayse says she’s excited to move into her new place, and she’ll be able to do so once her furniture is delivered next week.

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