Bowling Green tornado recovery means more power restored

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — With the recovery from the Bowling Green tornado still underway, power is being restored.

What do you want to know

  • An EF-3 tornado devastated Bowling Green on December 10, 2021
  • Hundreds of homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed along the Highway 31 bypass
  • Public Works continues to pick up curbside storm debris
  • Contractor vans line the street as some homes are being rebuilt

As western Kentucky towns like Mayfield and Dawson Springs continue to rebuild after last year’s EF-4 tornado, Bowling Green neighborhoods are also recovering from a powerful EF-3 twister that hit the same night.

Entire neighborhoods were scarred by the storm. A total of 17 people were killed by the storm and hundreds of homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed.

Gary Finn works on a damaged roof in Bowling Green (Spectrum News 1/Jonathon Gregg)

On Magnolia Street, contractor Jerry Bowling works on a collapsed porch. A salmon-colored sign reading “UNSAFE” is taped to the front window of the house.

“A lot of work is still going on here, some of them are still empty,” Powell said.

As soon as its work order is approved by the general contractor, the new porch can enter.

“It wasn’t that this house had to be torn down, it was just that they couldn’t occupy it until the repairs were completed,” Powell said.

And until those repairs are complete and the house is inspected, the city will not restore power to the house.

A damaged warehouse in Bowling Green (Spectrum News 1/Jonathon Gregg)

Across the street, Alex Acosta lives and covers two damaged houses. Vans and contractor trucks line the street.

“This roof here, we already knocked it down because the storm tried to pick it up,” Acosta said.

The painters work on a neighboring house and on two houses south of where Acosta works. Another house is missing half of its roof, so while progress is being made, there is still a lot to do.

Jerry Powell said there was a backlog that existed long before the Dec. 10 tornado tore through the city.

“All the contractors and contractors had jobs scheduled months later and then it happened and we’re trying to fit it in where they can,” he said.

It’s a patchwork of progress that is likely to prolong his stay in this neighborhood and others like it.

For more information on how to get help or donate to those in need in Bowling Green, click here.

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