Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

City of Bowling Green chronicles 2021 tornadoes as "The Greatest Challenge" in new digital book

City of Bowling Green

It’s been a year-and-a-half since a rare, middle-of-the-night tornado ripped through Bowling Green in December 2021. The city of Bowling Green has published a digital book dedicated to the 17 lives lost in the historic storm.

The story titled The Greatest Challenge is a free download on the city of Bowling Green's website.

The digital publication details the city’s disaster response and recovery from an EF-3 tornado that damaged or destroyed around 1,000 homes and businesses. It contains stories from first responders and Bowling Green leaders who confronted a number of challenges in the immediate aftermath, including weather, darkness, injuries, impassable roads, and communication disruptions.

The book is written by the city’s Public Information Officer, Deborah Highland West, who is a former newspaper reporter.

“For most of my career, I was in Tennessee and covered a lot of natural disasters, including the 2010 floods in Nashville," West said in an interview with WKU Public Radio. "But this one hurt because it was personal, it was home.”

West says the goal of the book is to help other communities that may experience a similar natural disaster in the future.

You can hear West's interview with WKU Public Radio by clicking on the Listen button above.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.