'Every day is emotional' Mayfield mayor reflects on 2021 deadly tornado

Posted at 8:22 AM, Dec 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-09 09:22:23-05

MAYFIELD, Ky. (WTVF) — As the Mayor of Mayfield, Kathy O'Nan reflects on the one-year anniversary of the deadly tornado, she says that the victims are first and foremost on her mind.

"Unbelievable, unbelievable the storm lasted just a short time and what is left with us forever," O'Nan said. The city lost 24 people that night.

O'Nan said every day is emotional when you see the town you love in ruins.

The mayor also says that back in March, a community group called Mayfield Rebuilds has been working to decide what the new Mayfield will look like. They halted building permits for six months to get a new plan together.

O'Nan says that those permits expire this month and she expects to see the rebuilding begin again in the spring.

"We will never have the look that we had. The backdrop of people's childhood and lives is gone So what we are working on is a new backdrop for generations to come," O'Nan said. "To think 50 years from now all we knew will only be in pictures. It hurts but exciting at the same time."

The city is holding a commemoration of the anniversary on Saturday. At 9 a.m., people will gather outside the candle factory where eight people died and walk to the downtown area. Then, at 2:30 p.m., there will be a service held in the Graves County High School gym where Gov. Andy Beshear will deliver remarks.