Ky. woman searches for family after Joplin tornado

MORTONS GAP, Ky. (AP) — A western Kentucky woman has been searching the Internet for any trace of several family members in the wake of the tornado that leveled Joplin, Mo.

Faye Coakley of Mortons Gap told The Madisonville Messenger that she's found photos of what looks like the home of her aunt, Cherry Huff, but not much more.

Cherry Huff, along with Coakley's aunt and uncle, Floyd and Martha Huff, remain unaccounted for a week after an EF5 tornado tore through the city.

Of the one house she saw, Coakley said, only an archway appeared to still be standing.

"It just seems like I can't find anything," she said. "It's so disgusting when you know they are out there somewhere, but you don't know where they are at."

Coakley's calls to Floyd and Martha's sons have not been returned; she figures they may be in Joplin looking for their parents.

It's not for lack of trying. Coakley's phoned relatives across the country, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Family Assistance Center and even the local newspaper, the Joplin Globe, which was very helpful.

Coakley has kept the news from her mother, 96-year-old Hilda DeMoss, who lives with Coakley in Mortons Gap, and her 94-year-old aunt, Thelma Gilmore, who resides at a Madisonville nursing home. Both are in poor health, and she doesn't think they could handle hearing that their younger brother and two sisters-in-law are missing.

Coakley has considered driving to Joplin, but doesn't drive much and is wary of leaving her mother.

"I'm trying to be patient," she said, "but it's very depressing to be patient when you got somebody you care about and you don't know where they are at."

Information from: The Messenger,


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