‘The whole town is gone’ – Tornado

Survivors describe the fear and horror they endured as tornadoes tore through the southern and central US.

It took everything Kyanna Parsons-Perez had to keep from panicking after heavy winds collapsed the building she was in and pinned her to the ground under piles of heavy debris. Parsons-Perez was one of many workers trapped under the rubble of a candle factory in Mayfield, Kentucky, after it was struck by a tornado late Friday.

“It happened so fast,” Parsons-Perez, describing the onslaught of destruction the tornado waged at the factory. “We all just rocked back and forth, and then boom, everything fell on us. “That tornado was one of at least 50 that struck eight states, including Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee.

The winds knocked out power lines, ripped roofs off buildings and in some cases decimated communities. More than 100 people are feared dead, including at least 80 in Kentucky, according to state and local officials. Here are some stories from those who made it out alive.

‘Boom, everything fell on us’

Parsons-Perez was working her shift at the Mayfield Consumer Products candle factory when the tornado struck. She was one of more than 100 people working at the factory, which had been “going 24/7” in part to meet Christmastime candle demand, Rep. James Comer, who represents the area.