Dawson Springs family welcomed to new home after devastating tornado

Dawson Springs family welcomed to new home after devastating tornado
Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 7:27 PM CDT
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DAWSON SPRINGS, Ky. (WFIE) - A family in Dawson Springs is back in a home after losing it in the December tornado nearly two years ago.

14 News was there as the home was dedicated on Wednesday with Governor Andy Beshear and many local leaders in attendance.

Zack Russell, Eliza Watts and their two kids have been living out of a camper ever since the deadly storm.

That night they had waited things out in a storm shelter under the hill their home was built on and came out to find everything gone.

Eliza said in the months after that, she had begun working with cattle, and one day a man approached her.

He had stopped to ask to buy hay off of her, and when they got to talking, they realized she needed just as much help as they did.

That man worked with Fuller Center Disaster ReBuilders and had been working for months to help people rebuild.

He helped build the home they moved into on Wednesday.

“It fell into place, Watts said. “It was God’s way of saying, ‘Hey, I’m here to help.’”

She said moving in was amazing.

“It’s our step to recovery,” says Eliza. “I feel like we can actually be a family, not here there and everywhere. We can actually be in our home, our house, and be our family.”

As the dedication took place, Hopkins County Judge Executive also took time to honor one of the many people who has been helping with recover efforts.

He issued a proclamation naming Wednesday, September 13 “Billy Wells Day”.

Billy Wells has been coordinating clean-up and rebuilding efforts in Barnsley non-stop since the storm first hit.

14 News has previously reported on his great volunteer work, and you can read more about him here.