Twice In the Path - Kentucky Farm Bureau

Twice In the Path

Posted on Jul 9, 2024

As storm systems have moved through the Commonwealth in unusually high numbers this year, many families have endured destruction for a second time.

During a rare December 2021 tornado event, Clara Rice and the Baldwin family of Hopkins County lost their homes only to have fate strike again last May when an EF-3 tornado blasted through an area that still has scars from the 2021 event.

“After church that Sunday, I came home, and went about my busy day,” Rice said. “I knew the storms were coming, but I had no idea a tornado would be in the midst of it.”

A much milder storm system had moved through the area around noon that day but as nightfall approached, the warning signs of something much stronger became more evident. Rice, along with some of her neighbors, took cover in a nearby storm shelter where they waited out the passing tornado.

“You could hear debris hitting the shelter door and it was scary for a while,” she said. “But, I continued to pray saying, ‘Lord, I trust you. If my home is there, I'm going to praise you. If my home is not there, I'm still going to praise you. You've supplied the first time and I know you'll supply again.’”

Rice’s prayers brought her through the storm, but her house was completely destroyed for a second time. After having that happen twice within the span of less than three years, one’s faith would be greatly tested but Rice never failed to recognize what truly matters in the face of tragedy.  

“God is going to supply,” she said. “He doesn't want me to worry. He doesn't want me to lose my faith. He doesn't want me to lose my joy.”

Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance Claims Adjuster Caleb Kirby was assigned Rice’s claim this time and said it’s sad to see someone go through this, especially having done it once before.

“Ms. Clara is extremely inspirational but it’s heartbreaking to see her go through this again,” he said. “Her resilience to want to be there and be home and call that place home is much the same for most of these people in this area. No matter what happens, they're going to rebuild because this is home to them.”

Kirby added that this community unfortunately has been through this less than three years ago, and he is seeing a lot of the same people going through it now, who went through it then.

“These people are just now getting back to some sense of normalcy, and then to go through this again, it's tough on them and it’s hard to see, too,” he said.

Bryan and Jessie Baldwin faced the same situation having lost their home in the 2021 storm and suffering extensive damage to their new home last May.

“As the first storm came through earlier in the day, I thought we were going to have some damage from it but that didn't happen,” Bryan said. “When we started getting texts later, we knew the next storm was stronger and coming our way. We never dreamed that we'd get hit again and even though we knew it was headed our way, we still never thought it would happen again.” 

As the storm approached, Jessie said she began to hear similar sounds as the family experienced in 2021, something you don’t forget.

“You start getting the anxiety and we knew the conditions were exactly the same, the way that it looked, the way that it smelled, and your body just remembered every part of it,” she said. “When you hear that sound and you've learned what it means, you don't forget it.”

While the Baldwins prepared for the tornado to strike, it was their faith that got them through the ordeal.

“That faith of a mustard seed will move a mountain and all you got to have is just a draw of it, just a little bit and God will take care of you,” Jessie said. “And he took care of our family once again.”

Most important for Rice and the Baldwins was the fact that their family members were all safe. Both families were also grateful for the quick response of KFB.

“I love Farm Bureau, I absolutely love them,” Rice said. “They have been there for me through thick and thin and no matter what kind of questions I have, they will sit there and talk to me and answer me.”

Bryan Baldwin said it has been a great relief to know KFB was taking care of their claims

“As soon as it happened, some of their team, who may have had their own damage, were in the office just cranking it out, taking care of people,” he said. “They gave me the grace when I came in and was unsure of exactly what I needed but they said ‘It's okay. We've got you. We've got you.’"


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