A powerful EF-2 tornado packed 120 mph winds left extensive damage throughout a community in Kathleen, Florida, on Friday, Oct. 18.
“It’s a mess. There’s tile everywhere, there’s wood everywhere, everything’s everywhere,” said Jessica Waters, a Kathleen resident whose home was damaged by the tornado, according to FOX13 News.
Many people are left without power, food, or water, but the community is now coming together in big ways.
“They’re working so hard just trying to clean up and be able to even go back to work tomorrow, so we knew that today was the day,” Ed Kirkland, the owner of Harvest Meat Market in Kathleen, said.
Harvest Meat Market spent all day Sunday, Oct. 20, preparing more than 500 hot meals for those in the middle of all the wreckage. Kirkland also said they will continue to make meals and help the community for as long as they need it.
“These people are without electricity and don’t know how long they won’t have any, and some of them don’t even have any homes to go back to,” Diane White, who is their store manager, said.
The hot meals residents received are feeding their souls.
“It’s a big thing, it’s a big thing, it’s huge. I can’t cook for my family. I have no running water, no power,” Waters said.
While there is a long road ahead, the Kathleen community remains positive.
“Tomorrow the walls are coming down, we’re going to clear off the whole thing and just start over,” Bill Wright resident said.
“There’s a lot of people who are just as bad as me almost,” Wright said. “But it will all come together.”