Death toll in Bowling Green reaches 15 as cleanup begins

The Clear Creek Avenue area in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
The Clear Creek Avenue area in Bowling Green, Kentucky.(WXIX)
Updated: Dec. 13, 2021 at 6:30 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WSMV/WBKO) - The death toll climbed to 15 in Warren County after Saturday morning’s violent tornado tore through parts of Bowling Green, the county’s coroner said Monday.

Among the dead are multiple juveniles and two infants. Warren County Coroner Kevin Kirby released the names of 15 people who have died due to Saturday’s tornado, including 11 people on one street.

Neighborhoods near Russellville Road where some of the hardest hit.

“It sounded like a freight train was getting ready to come through my bedroom,” Jennifer Locke said. “That’s what made me know for sure to take cover because I could hear the rumbling.”

Locke spent Monday afternoon looking for her cat who ran off during the storm. As she trudged through what little was left of her neighborhood, so too did many of her friends and neighbors.

“We’ve lost children in this neighborhood. They’re still searching and recovering a couple streets over, but we are one of the lucky ones so we’re just blessed to be here,” Locke said. “It’s still very surreal to me. People have reached out and asked me what I need. I don’t even know what I need. I don’t.”

More than a dozen people are still missing in Bowling Green, according to Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear.

After the storms Saturday, it’s been a widespread effort cleaning up, searching and rebuilding.

Theo Marks took his son to one of the hardest hit neighborhoods Monday, moving debris from homes to the street where it can be picked up.

“It’s important for him to see what the community can do together and it’s important for him to understand serving his community,” Marks said. “(Bowling Green) is strong. We are close, we are tight knit. We are a small-big city so if any city can do it, this city can.”

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