PHOTOS: Mayfield Hit Hard by Tuesday Tornado, Man Survives Holding Onto Tree

May 10, 2016

Responders and storm victims pick through debris of a demolished home near Wayne Drive in Mayfield, KY.
Credit Stephen Lance Dennee

Update: Graves County Officials Assess Tornado Damage in Mayfield 

Mayfield and Graves County sustained significant damage Tuesday afternoon from at least one damaging tornado. The supercell hit closest to Mayfield on HWY North 45 and the Purchase Parkway where Mayor Teresa Cantrell says the damage continued to proceed northeasterly.

“It came up so fast. I’ve been interviewed by The Weather Channel who confirmed that it came out of nowhere. I mean we were like, where were the disaster emergency services, but it came out of nowhere literally and we just don’t know that we could have been anymore prepared,” says Cantrell.

According to Cantrell the tornado affected homes in the Spence Chapel Road area, Clear Springs and Fancy Farm, with the closest damage reported north of where the new Cracker Barrel is being built

Martie Winfrey (right) observes the damage to his home.
Credit Stephen Lance Dennee

  Martie Winfrey is lucky to be alive. He left his home in the midst of the storm to check on his neighbors.

“ .. and beat on their door and got them out," said Winfrey. "They leaned down by their truck and the tornado took their trailer and left them sitting in the yard, unhurt, and I ran down the road ...looking for somewhere to hide and.. it was catching me. So, I just found a tree and bear-hugged it. And a whole 20 to 30 seconds later and its all gone.”

Winfrey’s home was on Wayne Dr. which sustained most of the damage, near Highway 45. 

Many community members have started the process of cleaning up debris and helping storm victims collect any belongings that can be salvaged. Chad Lamb is a minister in Mayfield who responded Tuesday to help with cleanup and counseling.

“ You literally walk up and there is a guy sitting on his porch with a cut up foot and his wife has been taken to the hospital, he’s just sitting there in shell shock and we’re literally looking through debris to find him a pair of shoes to wear. I mean, I never dreamed of something like this happening in Mayfield.”

Credit Stephen Lance Dennee

The Kentucky State Police report no fatalities from the storm systems that barreled through the region. However, many were treated for non-life threatening injuries.  The National Weather Service will soon conduct a storm survey to determine the tornado’s severity.

A shelter has been opened at First Baptist Church in downtown Mayfield on 118th W. South Street for anyone displaced by the storm.