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'We have to start fresh, but we're still here.': Taylor County family says they're trying to keep spirits lifted

The family said they're living in the present and trying to take it day-by-day without stressing over what's to come.

TAYLOR COUNTY, Ky. — Taylor County is still recovering from the devastating tornado that swept through its community two weeks ago.

Emergency Management Director Ronnie Dooley said there's been an outpouring of support and clean-up efforts have been extensive.

That was apparent when WHAS11 visited the Soloma community on Friday. WHAS11 checked in with the Parker family who says it's been a tough couple of weeks, but they're trying to keep their spirits high.

"It's just devastating,” Kelly Parker said.

Parker said it's hard to see the place she and her family called home for more than 20 years reduced to rubble.

"To tell you the truth, I've never even been back here,” Parker said.

She was injured during the storm and couldn't see the damage in the days that followed.

"I was just walking around the yard a little while ago and I saw pictures of my best friend who had passed away and I saw one of her little necklaces,” Parker said. “All of our memories are here. It's just hard. We have to start fresh, but we're here. We're here for another day."

Parker said it's been hard to get into the holiday spirit, but then she thinks about the outpouring of support.

"There's no way in the world that any of us could do any of this clean-up without family, friends and strangers,” Parker said.

She also thinks about the reason for the season.

"It's Christmas. It's the birth of Jesus Christ and we gotta celebrate him because if it wasn't for him, we wouldn't be here,” Parker said.

Plus, it's their youngest son's birthday. He's turning 12-years-old right before Christmas.

Parker says the family is living in the present for now and are trying to take it day-by-day without stressing over what's to come.

"You gotta have your faith to keep you going because I don't know where we would be without our faith that it will be okay,” Parker said. “It's just going to take us some time."

Dooley said they expect to have clean-up efforts done around January 12. He's hoping families have a sense of normalcy by then. 

If you still want to donate, you can. Dooley said people can also donate gift cards to '3Trees Church' in Taylor County.

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