MAYFIELD, Ky. (WTVF) — Friday night, Jennifer Rukavina was driving into Mayfield to check on an order for a customer at the flower shop she owns, Jeanette’s Mayfield Flower Company, when she encountered the widespread destruction from the Mayfield tornado for the first time.
“I guess I was in disbelief,” Rukavina said, "just in shock of what I was seeing and hearing and smelling.”
Rukavina — a former TV meteorologist — did what came naturally.
“Your instinct is to just go live,” Rukavina said.
In a Facebook Live that’s been viewed more than 135,000 times, Rukavina documented her reaction as tags drove through the now-destroyed streets of Mayfield.
“There’s just so much damage,” Rukavina says at one point in the video. At several points, she gasps as she sees more damage around a corner.
“We’re gonna have to celebrate the lives of people who are not going to be with us at Christmas here, we still don’t know how many people are missing,” Rukavina said.
But as bleak as this all seems, she says hope is on the way.
“You almost have the sense that you don’t have to worry because you know you have the support of the community, and the support of the people living around here is going to be overwhelming, that you’re not going to feel alone.”
“I think it changed a lot of people's souls and how they’re going to move forward in this community,” Rukavina said. “I think everyone in America is seeing that soul of Mayfield right now.”