Chaplains are helping Bowling Green first responders, community recover after December tornado

Bowling Green one month after tornado
Posted at 7:43 PM, Jan 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-11 06:59:01-05

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WTVF) — Monday marks one month since tornadoes devastated parts of Kentucky and several other states.

The National Weather Service says 66 twisters ripped through a total of eight states starting on Dec. 10.

In Bowling Green, it took days to account for the people who went missing in the storms. During recoveries, chaplains like Bill Wade accompanied first responders.

"Our psyche and our eyes were never designed to see those things that they see," Wade said.

Wade is Shepherding Pastor at Living Hope Baptist Church as well as a volunteer police chaplain with the Bowling Green Police Department. He said tornado recovery has taken a mental and emotional toll on officers.

"To see the community destroyed physically like we saw it and then see the tragedies of the deaths associated with that, and the people that were missing for so long, it weighs on you emotionally and weighs on you physically and spiritually. Even people who are strong in their faith even question things," Wade said.

The Warren County community lost 17 people and countless homes and businesses.

"My faith tells me God never intended for us to experience these things, he created a perfect world, and we choose not to follow in his ways, so there’s a consequence of that," he said.

Wade said he's seen how helpful it is that officers have someone to guide them through the healing process.

"[An officer] in anger not toward me, but just in anger, he said, 'Were you out there with the people finding the bodies? Did you see the things I saw?' I said 'Yeah. That Saturday, I sure did. I saw some of the same things you saw.' And it was just like his whole countenance changed. He sort of relaxed and he said, 'You understand. And I said 'I understand,'" he said.

If you want to support Bowling Green in its recovery click here.