On December 11, 2021, we in Western Kentucky woke up to the heartbreaking news of a massive disaster hitting our friends and neighbors. During the late-night hours of December 10th, a devastating tornado tore through Tennessee into our area, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.

This monstrous tornado spanned a peak width of 1.5 miles and remained on the ground for nearly three hours, covering an extensive 165 miles from Woodland Mills to Rough River Dam State Resort Park making it the ninth-longest tornado in history.

The death toll quickly rose and the destruction was unbelievable. Within only hours, though, help was on the way from all corners of the United States.

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A new documentary about the months and years following the tornado is being released this spring and one Owensboro man's footage is at the center of the film. Chris Conley, a local storm chaser and videographer, told me this about his experience.

I said some pretty intense things about that night that needed to be said. My interview lasted over three hours. Curious how it'll all shake out. You know all to well how editing goes. Could be a good light or a real dim one.

 

I shared a story during the interview about the Dec 23 2015 Holly Springs MS tornado. I was chasing with another guy and we came to a four-way stop. Across from us was a lady with everything she could gather. We’re going towards the tornado and she’s trying to get away from it. It’s been on the ground forever, it’s all over the news.
Six years later, Dec 2021 the image of her with two cats, a dog and three kids packed into that car came back. The look in her eyes was like she had just seen Godzilla. Point of the story is how do you process the fact you have less than five minutes to grab everything you love into a car knowing that when you leave your life is changed forever. Everything will be different from that second forward. That story probably happened 100 times over that night across west KY. Same car, dogs, cats, kids, same gal at the wheel.

Take a look at the new trailer for the documentary. It will be available on Amazon Prime this spring.

Resiliency Unleashed: Life After the Kentucky Tornado 
Coming Soon. Two years in the making, and some very, VERY heartfelt stories from survivors. We can't wait for you to see the entire documentary!

 

Dramatic Drone Footage Captures Tornado Aftermath in Bremen & Dawson Springs, Kentucky

Local Tri-State tornado chaser Christopher Conley captures heartbreaking and gut-wrenching photos from his drone. Photos reflect devastation in both Bremen, KY, and Dawson Springs, KY. We in this area are so thankful for Chris as he ensures community members remain safe during the storms.

Gallery Credit: Barb Birgy

Dec 10 Tornado Destruction in Mayfield KY

Gallery Credit: ASHLEY SOLLARS

 

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