Holiday horror: AP photographer covers hometown twister | National News | –

It’s easier to walk than drive through the hardest-hit areas, but my feet sink into wet mud as I make my way down the bypass, near businesses I remember both from childhood and my days as a student at Western Kentucky University.

Firehouse Pizza was destroyed, and the sign now hangs just above the ground. What once was Judy’s Castle, a restaurant where we often ate, is missing at least one wall, and the Cardinal Motel next door is gone: The only recognizable thing that remains is a big statue of a red bird. Oddly, not far away, Great American Donut shop — everybody calls it “Gads” — is fine and open for business.

The remaining part of a plastic sign that was shattered by the winds carries a message for the Bowling Green community: “BG Strong.” At a pedestrian bridge that’s a popular spot for family photos and date nights, fog rises between the Barren River’s banks, one of which is littered with damaged homes and the other of which was relatively untouched. I hope both sides are OK next time I go home.

My family is safe, and I’m grateful. While my relatives are wrapping presents for their kids, others nearby are wrapping their roofs with plastic and tarps in the hope of preventing damage from the next rainstorm that comes through town.

While I can document what happened, I can’t explain it. My younger cousin believes she can, though.


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