Survivors’ stories: What it was like enduring Kentucky’s deadly tornadoes – ABC News

Survivors’ stories: What it was like enduring Kentucky’s deadly tornadoes – ABC News

The tornadoes that barreled through the South and the Midwest Friday night have claimed at least 88 lives, mostly in Kentucky.

So many survivors have lost loved ones, homes, belongings, and sense of security.

Here are the stories of some Kentuckians who survived the storm and are picking up the pieces.

Cars drive though the remains of homes and businesses destroyed after a tornado ripped through town the previous evening, Dec. 11, 2021 in Mayfield, Ky.

‘A war zone’

In hard-hit Mayfield, Kentucky, Steve Sasseen huddled in the basement with two neighbors, putting laundry baskets and blankets over their heads when the twister closed in.

Sasseen said the tornado “sounded like someone picked the house up and dropped it — extremely loud.”

It was over within a few minutes, and Sasseen said all he could see was “haze and dust.”

Once he went outside, the neighborhood “looked like a war zone,” Sasseen said.

“I’ve lived here all my life, and this is the worst thing I’ve ever had to go through,” he said. “I keep thinking it’s a nightmare and I’ll wake up.”

The path of destruction in downtown Mayfield, Ky.,Dec. 11, 2021, after a tornado traveled through the region overnight.

‘I thought he was gonna die’

Dakota, who did not share his last name, was working at the Mayfield Consumer Products candle factory when the tornado hit.

“The top of the building got ripped off. And then we told everyone, ‘Get down,'” Dakota told ABC News. “I started pushing people under the water fountain. We were trapped. I was trapped under the water fountain for like two hours.”

An aerial view of the damage to the candle factory after a devastating outbreak of tornadoes ripped through several states, in Mayfield, Ky., Dec. 11, 2021.

A water tower for the town lies destroyed in the aftermath of a tornado at sunrise in Mayfield, Ky., Dec. 13, 2021.

He said he was then able to wedge a fire hydrant under the fountain and he and a colleague dug their way out.

“We started pulling the rest of our team out and then we were able to get first responders to the areas that were needed,” Dakota said. “I found people [with] broken legs, pulling them out. Some were non-responsive. It was rough.”

Search are rescue crews work at the Mayfield Consumer Products candle factory in the early hours of Dec. 12, 2021, in Mayfield, Ky.

Meanwhile, Dakota’s fiancee, Brandi, was in agony waiting for news. Dakota had texted her to say “we’re hit” by the twister, but then she said, “his phone just dropped and I couldn’t get ahold of him.”

“A while later, he called me and …….