Tornadoes ravaged Tennessee and Kentucky in December. This nonprofit is still helping build back.

God's Pit Crew truck at flood reconstruction site in KY
Posted at 7:06 PM, Aug 15, 2022

DAWSON SPRINGS, Ky. (WTVF) — It's been just more than eight months since tornadoes destroyed parts of Kentucky and Tennessee. For some communities, the future is still uncertain. Some volunteers are still working, doing all they can to help.

"This property had a nice farmhouse on it," said Warren Johnson, standing off a road in Dawson Springs, Kentucky. "It had a barn. It had several outbuildings and many nice trees. And after the storm, it was completely destroyed."

Johnson is with God's Pit Crew, a faith-based nonprofit that does disaster relief.

"Yes, sir. These volunteers come out and do whatever it takes to make it happen," he said, referring to a group busily working to rebuild the home. "A lot of these people will give up time from home and be gone for two to three weeks from their families. I do think it takes a special person to do this."

It was December when city officials said 337 homes in Dawson Springs were destroyed, a whole 75% of the homes in the city.

"It's heartbreaking to see what these people have endured," said Johnson. "It's amazing what these storms can do, and the devastation that can be."

City officials said the future of many of the places where homes once stood is uncertain, but today there are 23 building permits in Dawson Springs.

God's Pit crew is working on three homes at the same time in Benton, Dresden and in Dawson Springs — all homes lost to the December tornadoes.

"It's a family that lived here, husband and wife, and five kids," said Johnson.

Next week, the house is set to be revealed to that family: rebuilt, furnished, and decorated.

"They'll be able to move in that night," said Johnson. "We just want to give back, want to help. That's what we do it for, to be able to give back and to help families, maybe to give them a little bit of closure on what's happened. It's really touching to know you can give back to someone like that, to put back just a little of what they've lost. You can never replace what they've lost, but you can put back a small portion of this."