MAYFIELD, Kentucky, Dec 17 (Reuters) – Jimmy Galbreath counted his blessings too soon. His home in Mayfield, Kentucky, was battered but not broken last week by a tornado, and the 62-year-old former scrap iron worker planned to keep living there.
Then on Thursday rain soaked the state, with another downpour forecast for Friday into Saturday afternoon. As Galbreath watched, water leaked steadily into his kitchen, finding paths opened by two trees that had smashed into his house during the tornado.
“I can’t stay in here, it’s impossible,” said Galbreath, who collects social security. He said he was looking to buy a camper to live in.
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“This is going to be a long haul, it’s not going to be no easy fix,” he said of his uninhabitable house.
Rebuilding hard-hit Kentuckycities like Mayfield and Dawson Springs will take years, with entire neighborhoods and numerous workplaces wiped out by the most severe U.S. tornadoes in a decade. At least 74 people in Kentucky and 14 elsewhere died in the storms.
Many homes, businesses and churches in Mayfield, population 10,000, already have blue tarps nailed over their gaping holes, but on other structures, roofs and glass-less windows remain open to the sky.
As the rain began, water quickly pooled in …….