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'I’m drying them out trying not to cry': Tornado survivors salvage pictures, any memories after neighborhood wiped out

The Warren County Coroner confirmed 15 people died from the Saturday tornado. Survivors have begun to salvage what they can from hard-hit Jennings Creek.

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Bowling Green Mayor Todd Alcott said search and rescue missions in the city continued Monday, after a devastating tornado hit the town. 

Alcott said there are multiple crews on the ground and mutual aid came in from across the state. Alcott said some areas will likely not have power for weeks. 

The death toll from the tornado continued to rise Monday, when the Warren County Coroner confirmed 15 people, including children, lost their lives in the storm. 

Many of them were in the Jennings Creek neighborhood, which officials called one of the hardest-hit areas of the city. 

Alcott said some of the streets in the area had already been searched and cleared. Monday, residents and volunteers came back to start sifting through the rubble.

RELATED: Names released of those killed when tornadoes hit Bowling Green

Liz Nelson doesn't live in the neighborhood, but she works for a building company and has been helping neighbors clear through the debris. Monday, her focus shifted to photos and memories. 

“This is home and we just take care of your home," she said. "I just want to make sure I’m an active gospel witness and I don’t think there’s much thought to it you just get up and go.”

WHAS11 met Nelson while she was working at Vickie Boards' home. Boards and her husband huddled there during the storm. They lived, but their home is a total loss. 

“He heard rumbling like a train,” Boards said of the storm. “The ceiling and stuff just started falling in on me." 

Boards said she came back to look for pictures, especially those of her grandchildren, one of whom had heart surgery as a baby a few years ago. 

“I have a lot of memories and pictures of him from the time he was born. And I found some of those," she said. 

Nelson said even though Boards was a stranger until today, she couldn't imagine not helping. 

“When somebody in the community is hurting you just rally around and help," she said. "The whole back of my trailer is just full of her pictures and I’m drying them out trying not to cry.”

Boards said she and her husband have a safe place to stay with family. 

A Red Cross shelter at Jennings Creek Elementary housed around 90 people last night. The Red Cross is also providing food and supplies there. 

Mayor Alcott urged anyone in need to register with the Red Cross and FEMA, so they can get aid. 

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