Holmes' fiancee insisted that he stay home Friday night due to the impending storm.
Holmes, 20 years old, said that Holmes had told him she was feeling bad outside the factory. He waited for word from his coworkers. "I was going back to work, but she demanded that I stay home.
Kentucky residents who were affected by the twister struggled to cope with its destruction and shared their horror stories of survival, even as others rushed to assist in rescue efforts. Gov. Andy Beshear stated that 70 people could have been killed when the tornado struck more than 200 miles (320 km) in his state. However, the death toll could be higher for 10 counties.
Vernon Evans was seen digging through the debris of one of the many houses that had been torn apart near Mayfield's central business district. He said that he had helped firefighters rescue people from a collapsed brick wall at a nursing home. He said he remembered seeing one of his residents lying face down in water and that he had to help him get out.
He said, "All I could think was to sit there and keep their heads up." "I have never seen anything like this."
Mayfield was littered with debris from burned buildings and trees. Streets were littered with twisted metal sheeting, downed electricity lines and vehicles that had been damaged. The buildings that remained were destroyed by the wind.
Bob Waldridge, Yahweh Baptist Church pastor, loaded chairs and sound equipment from the 100-year-old church into a trailer. He arrived at the church in search of water.
He said, "The wind came through and all that was in the foyer ended in the back part of the church." "And it blew out the back wall of church, and it tore the roof off the church.
He stated that church members plan to hold a Sunday prayer service and that several local churches have offered their space. He said that one family who attends church was at their home when the storm hit, and that two members of the family were flown by helicopter from Nashville to Nashville.
"It's a building. But I'm more concerned about the people. He said that there are many people who are in pain right now.
Kevin Bishop, Graves County Circuit Judge, lives outside Mayfield and said that his family rode out Hurricane Irene in a toilet.
He said, "We hunkered down with many pillows and blankets above everybody's heads, and prayed."
Although his home sustained minor damage, the storm tore through the roof of the courthouse in which he works. Mayfield will need to rest for a while, he said.
He said, "We are strong, we will work together, but it is going to take a while,"
Courtney Saxton, 38, and five children jumped into a tub to keep safe from the twister. Her Mayfield home's roof was gone when she emerged. Saxton's family sought refuge Saturday night at Fancy Farm's St. Jerome Parish Hall.
Her children, aged 3-13 years old, were adapting to their new environment. The TV showed children's movies, and the table had coloring books, crayons, and games. Although the children weren't hurt, she remembered their terror.
She said, "They were scared, screaming and crying." It was horrible. "I tried to calm them down but all the time I was praying. "I knew God would see us through."
Mark, her husband, was working in the candle factory. He was trapped under debris for several hours before he was finally rescued. Although he had some minor injuries, he was otherwise healthy.
She said that he called us screaming, hollering, and crying because he was stuck. It was frightening for me because it made me think, "Oh my God, is this going to happen? I also prayed over the phone with him. I talked to him over the phone, and kept telling him God would work it out. Be strong, don’t lose heart, fight on."