Woman from Fairmont, MN Recounts Kentucky Tornado Experience | News, Sports, Jobs


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FAIRMONT– Sophie Dojacques has had several amazing experiences in her life; however, going through a tornado was not an item on his bucket list.

The Fairmont woman recently found herself in Mayfield, Ky., Just a day before deadly tornadoes swept through and devastated the area.

Dojacques is a doctor who has worked across the country. She started at Mayo in Fairmont in 2011 and bought a farm here in 2012. Although she no longer works here, Fairmont has remained “Reception base” for Dojacques.

Because she is an itinerant doctor, she goes where she is needed. Lately the need for OB-GYN has been high. Dojacques said she booked consecutively whenever she needed and was currently accredited to eight different hospitals.

More recently, Dojacques was in Winona. She calls her last assignment at Jackson Purchase Medical Center in Mayfield, Ky. As “Random.”

“I had never worked at this particular location before. Honestly, I didn’t think about the weather issues. It’s december, she said.

She left Winona and went to Mayfield, a town the size of Fairmont. She arrived with her two dogs at midnight on Thursday, December 9.

“The next day, I showed up at the hospital at 7 am when they wanted me to orientate myself. I went home and took a nap. When I woke up, that’s when things started. said Dojacques.

She explained that she did not listen to the radio and that she did not have a television. She had just arrived and, without knowing anyone, was unaware of the approach of severe weather.

A diary entry Dojacques wrote that she shared with the Sentinel reads:

“It was a little after 9 pm. All I could hear were outside sirens and weather alerts over the phone. Then the wind died down almost completely for a few minutes. I stepped onto the back porch, surprised by the fury so quickly replaced by calm. But it was rather the absence of wind accompanied by intense barometric pressure. I felt it in my ears, on my chest. It made the air heavy to breathe. It was dark outside and I knew then that it was there. And I had a funny thought: does that count as a bucket list item if I can’t see it? “

When bad weather hit her, Dojacques realized that the house she was living in did not have a basement and that almost all the rooms had windows. She and her two large dogs ended up taking shelter in a hallway closet.

When she felt it was safe, Dojacques left the closet and found she had no electricity. A neighbor came over and brought her a flashlight and informed her that the local high school had been hit by a tornado and there was “devastation.”

The next morning, the full extent of what she had endured struck her.

“It was an F4 tornado. The winds were up to 190 mph. It was a mile wide. This is why he was able to eliminate almost everything ”, said Dojacques.

What is perhaps most shocking of all is that Dojacques was first asked by the deputy housing staff to stay in a house where other doctors usually stay, but Dojacques refused, choosing to rent. a house in the countryside.

After the tornado, she discovered that the house she was originally asked to stay in no longer existed.

“It was unusual. There is never a debate on housing. This is what bothers me the most. The house is gone. I don’t think I would have survived it ”, said Dojacques.

Since the tornado, Dojacques has continued to work, doing labor and delivery in the small hospital she was assigned to. She said the brick hospital remained standing but there was no water or electricity apart from what was supplied by the generator.

She said most of the patients were referred to other hospitals in Murray or Paducah, Ky.

“Now we have a second bad situation. We started to have thunderstorms (Thursday) and flooding. The rain is still falling and now it’s 30 or 40 degrees at night ”, said Dojacques.

Because so many people are homeless, Dojacques said many were in tents. She said recovery efforts almost came to a halt due to heavy rains.

“It’s a small, poor riding. They barely had enough of it like that, “ said Dojacques.

She said people seemed happy to receive clean blankets and a change of clothes. On top of that, she said there were long term needs, including money for housing.

Dojacques was due to leave this week for another assignment but her replacement has decided not to come to Kentucky at the moment so she is staying a little longer. She lives in the same house but has neither water nor electricity. It has a gas fireplace and a gas grill.

“Even though it didn’t hurt me, I think I definitely have a little PTSD” said Dojacques.

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