Families grieve in Bremen, Ky. after weekend tornado claims 12 lives

Posted at 12:45 AM, Dec 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-13 11:50:01-05

BREMEN, Ky. (WTVF) — Families mourn the loss of 12 people who were killed in Bremen after a tornado ripped through Kentucky over the weekend.

Sarah Jones describes the woman she calls mom as, “crazy, but she was the good kind of crazy.”

Cheryl Snodgrass was the kind of person who could help you smile through practically anything. Even on your worst day, she found a way to make light of whatever the circumstances.

“Always had a smile and it didn’t matter what was going on. She was there for me,” Jones said.

Snodgrass adopted Jones as her own after her mother passed from colon cancer 10 years ago. In Bremen, Snodgrass had a way of making everyone she met feel like they too were family.

Mark Campbell is family by marriage, but that hasn’t made what happened any easier to process.

He says Snodgrass, her husband, and their family friend all took shelter when they heard a tornado was heading their way Friday night.

“They came from the house thinking the garage would be safer,” Campbell said.

Only minutes later Campbell says the roof collapsed. The two men managed to pull themselves out, but Snodgrass was already knocked unconscious.

“They took her to the hospital to perform surgery where she passed away on the surgery table,” Campbell said.

Across Kentucky, Gov. Andy Beshear believes that the tornadoes may have claimed at least 100 lives.

Parts of Muhlenberg County remain locked down overnight by police. They say most of the damaged areas are still too dangerous to travel at night.

“In other states, in the path of this storm and the people I’ve heard have been killed. It’s mind-blowing,” Campbell said.

You look around these properties and it’s what you can’t see that catches your attention. Like a porch leading to nowhere or a garage turned to rubble, Snodgrass is making her presence known even when she’s not here.

“I know that if I let it get the best of me, she’d say, 'Sarah J., don’t even. Don’t make me kick your ass,'” Jones said.

Jones says this is how her mother would want to be remembered. That even under the worst of circumstances, the woman known for her heart could still put a smile on our face.