MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Tornados swept through much of the midwest and the southeastern U.S. this past Friday.
Six states, in all impacted during Friday’s severe storms. Several cities and neighborhoods in the state of Kentucky, left in shambles.
One local rescue group made its way to the area less than 48 hours after the devastation, to assist those hit by tornados. George Ruiz with Geaux Rescue took their relief efforts to Cayce, Kentucky.
Ruiz says that particular city holds a special place in his heart after he was stationed there when he was in the Coast Guard.
“It’s my home away from home so we had to come out here to help out,” says Ruiz.
One victim, Jordy O’Neal spoke with Ruiz…recalling the moments his family’s home for several decades, was ruined in seconds.
“My parents were in this house in the hallway, and in the bathroom when the tornado hit. My
grandma is 80 years old in a wheelchair and that’s where she was at,” said O’Neil. “My brother’s little boy
was there with them…and this is where they were at when the tornado tore this whole house apart.”
This local rescue team has assisted with several natural disasters.
Ruiz says he has never seen destruction this horrific.
“It was breathtaking. I’ve seen a lot of damage from hurricanes but nothing like this. It’s just like a bulldozer came through and wiped out everything,” Ruiz said. “We’re talking houses, trees… there’s one backhoe that was flipped over about 200 yards and those things weigh a few tons. It’s just amazing the power that came through here.”
The people of Cayce, are completely devastated.
“The main thing I’m hearing from the parents is Christmas. Like my friend they just adopted a baby that’s 6-months-old, and every Christmas present is gone,” said Ruiz. “You can’t find them. Were finding pictures 400 or 500 yards from their house… so that is upsetting.”
For now, this community is taking it all day by day.
“The area that was damaged here is quite big. It’s a very rural area so they’re not going to get a lot of the attention, they’re not going to get a lot of the bigger groups to help so it will take a little bit longer for them to recover.
Ruiz tells he will be updating Geaux Rescue’s Facebook page in the coming days with items you
can donate to help these victims of Cayce.