AMERICUS, Ga. (WRBL) – According to the National Weather Service on the night of Saturday, Dec. 11, an EF-3 tornado tore through the town of Bowling Green Kentucky which is home to Western Kentucky University, and despite adversity at home, several students jumped at the opportunity to lend a helping hand in Georgia.
The tornado devastated neighborhoods and buildings. According to local news outlets the death toll in Warren County currently stands at 17 people.
The devastation created a tough decision for WKU students who are in the University’s Habitat for Humanity Chapter who has a long-planned trip to work with the Fuller Center For Housing to help repair and renovate homes in Americus, Georgia.
However, with emergency services still conducting search and rescue and clean-up efforts just beginning, one group of WKU students like Kyle Torrence and Ivy Kadisak decided to go forward with the trip and channel their energy to help others here in Georgia while they wait for the opportunity to help back home.
“It’s been really hard but our time will come back home,” said Torrence. “Right now we’re here, we can help. Back home they need ya know electricians, plumbers, lineman things like that. So ya know our time will come.”
“I thought that if I could help out later in bowling green and help out here too that’s an opportunity to do both things and I’d like to help out as many people as possible in my lifetime,” said Kadisak.
The group of 11 students and one professor worked on a couple of homes while in town. One of the homes belonged to Zabrina Porter who has owned her home for nearly 30 years and raised four children in the home.
“I just had some plumbing problems in my bathroom I was unaware of, the flooring got weak and the roof I had, a tree hit a couple years ago and it still was leaking from that,” said Porter. “So little minor problems, trying not to make them bigger problems, but I own the home so we’re just trying to save it and hopefully pass it on to the next generation.”
The students built Porter a back deck, fixed her front door and bathroom flooring and cleaned her roof. She says she’s most excited about the bathroom.
Porter also said it’s important to continue to be selfless like the students fixing her home.
“And in a time like this where they’ve had tornadoes and stuff, and they still find the time to go out and channel their energy and give back,” said Porter. “So we need to also do the same thing and not just be selfish and think about ourselves but think about others as well.”
Kadisak said they get home Saturday morning and she’s hoping to volunteer in Bowling Green Sunday morning.