Mayfield, KY Mobile and Manufactured Homes vs. Conventional Construction – Storm Chasing the Surprising Truth About Tornado Deaths, Damage, and Destruction


Tornadoes in Mayfield, Kentucky caused profound losses,” wrote veteran journalist Edward Helmore for the U.S. edition of the Guardian. “Damage to life and limb caused by the vast and powerful tornado that passed over Mayfield was epic and profound. The broader storm front also caused havoc as more than 30 powerful tornadoes tore through “Dixie Alley”. There were 76 dead in Kentucky alone, with eight lost in a candle factory where night-shift workers, some on work-release from jail, later claimed they were dissuaded from leaving their positions or seeking shelter by threats of termination.” Helmore’s report said, “It’s not normal to get a tornado in December, but then it’s not normal for it to be 73 degrees at night,” said Mayfield resident Tim Wetherbee, referring to the local temperature on the day the onslaught destroyed 15,000 buildings and trailer-homes and caused at least $3.5bn in damage.”

Helmore and the Guardian were joined by a veritable chorus of voices, handwringing, and sorrow in the wake of the deadly storm. But in the midst of this often accurate picture was a gem that may not have been given its due by journalistic newcomer Diamond Palmer, who’s video report for Spectrum News 1 featured an “Entire Mayfield mobile home community still standing after tornado.”


Palmer’s Twitter feed makes it clear that she was quite aware of the drama that swirled around what she identified as Mayfield Mobile Home Park.

One of her tweets post-tornado said “Our Chief Meteorologist @WesCallison has covered tornadoes many times, but he said last weekend’s outbreak was unlike any other.”


The destruction in Mayfield was so severe that it brought Joe Biden from the White House to tour their tornado ravaged town.



Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron‘s office announced it will be in #Mayfield registering contractors for a new program designed to protect residents from potential fraud.


But as top line bullets of Palmer’s Spectrum News 1 reported:

What You Need To Know

·       Kim Westerman, her brother Greg Westerman are residents of Mayfield Mobile Home Community 

·        The two felt a calling to leave when it started storming in Mayfield, but thankfully their homes saw very little damage
·        Evelyn Totty, her husband Joey Totty are residents of Mayfield Mobile Home Community, the Westerman’s neighbors 
·        The Tottys rode out the tornado in their mobile home hearing hail and high winds 


It is against this backdrop that Palmer featured the otherwise untold story of how Mayfield Mobile Home Park escaped the devastation that ripped through numerous parts of Kentucky and other states, as was previously reported by MHProNews in the link below.
Several of the illustrations shown in this report can be opened in many browsers to reveal a larger size. To open this picture, click the image once. When the window opens, click it again to reveal the larger size photo. Use your browsers back key to return to the article.
Media and other researchers should be aware of the significance of the HUD Code certification label. Every HUD Code manufactured home built since June 15, 1976 have had one of these labels affixed by law to the ‘tail end’ or running light end of each section of the home. While there are times that the label is mistakenly removed by a consumer or others after sale, the vast majority of manufactured homes will have this clear exterior visual evidence that helps discern the difference between a “manufactured home” and a “mobile home.”
This home above from Palmer’s report is a mobile home, not a manufactured home.
One of the clues to that point is that often, but not always,
useful in making the distinction between a mobile home and a
manufactured home that is visible from outside are the windows.
This type of crank out or “jalousie” windows shown here
were eliminated for HUD Code manufactured homes. When such windows are visible, the
home is almost certainly a mobile home. MHProNews Note: Several of the illustrations shown in this report can be opened in many browsers to reveal a larger size. To open this picture, click the image once. When the window opens, click it again to reveal the larger size photo. Use your browsers back key to return to the article.

Unlike Stamping Ground, KY, here in Mayfield, there was no tornado damage reported in the Mayfield Mobile Home Park, per Sepectrum.



A source with the Guardian said on background to MHProNews that it was “hard to tell which homes were or had been trailers [sic]. Mostly the metal and debris had been bulldozed when I got to Mayfield and its environs. The Amish houses seemed to survive best. Though none would likely survive a direct hit.” It is thus necessary for public officials, researchers, and media with sufficient resources to carefully document the extent of damage, injury, and or loss of life that may be associated with conventional construction vs. mobile or manufactured homes.


Stamping Ground Tornado Comparison

Stamping Ground KY tornado, Some Manufactured Homes Seriously Damaged
or Total Loss, Next Door to Others that had Minimal or No Damage – Insights
From Local Official That Inspected that 12.2021 Tornado Aftermath

A local official told MHLivingNews that each of the flipped and seriously damaged manufactured homes had few or no anchors or ‘tie downs.’  See the videos and stills from that report, shown via the link above. This is notable, because

Art Faulkner, the now retired director of the Alabama Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) said in a Facebook post for the Alabama Manufactured Home Association (AMHA) that some people have died because well meaning, but misinformed weather reporters have urged people to seek shelter (for example) in a ditch rather than stay in their manufactured home.

It should be made clear that third-party researchers have made similar points to Faulkner. See the report and videos shown below for more details. It should not be thought that a manufactured home is tornado proof, but nor are conventional houses or even commercial buildings, as the tragic loss of life and widespread destruction in and around Mayfield documented. An on-the-record statement by Greg Schoor, NWS forecaster and Severe Storms Coordinator made a detailed statement that would largely support Faulkner’s.


YouTube has apparently throttled the report below, but the prior one (which is less detailed and lacks key updates in the first video) has had hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube.


It should be made clear that more than one third-party to manufactured housing researchers who have explored storm damage and manufactured homes have made similar points to the one made by Faulkner. See the report and videos shown above for more details. While it should not be thought that a manufactured home is tornado proof, but nor are conventional houses or even commercial buildings, as the tragic loss of life and widespread destruction in and around Mayfield documented. The point should be that tornadoes do not discriminate. What they strike, they often damage or destroy. But people should carefully consider leaving a home when tornado alerts indicate that a home should be abandoned. As Stamping Ground revealed, even those severely damaged manufactured homes – ones that local reports made clear had few or no tie downs – still had everyone in those homes survive. Most were scared, but only had minor injuries. That’s a stark difference from what Faulkner said he has witnessed, people that died in ditches where they sought refuge because a well-meaning, but purportedly misinformed weatherman told them to do so.


Man-Made Climate Change?

As to concerns about climate change and tornadoes during winter, what does the evidence show? provides some relevant factual data. is a joint federal website for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Weather Service (NWS). According to and their climate history report for Hart County, KY are the following ‘wintertime” tornadoes for that part of KY.

  • November 7, 1996
  • November 9, 2000
  • November 6, 2005
  • February 5, 2008

So, while there are fewer warm days and tornadoes in the winter, they are not unprecedented in KY, or other parts of the country for that matter.

2021 Tornadoes: From January 1 to December 14, 2021, there were 1,254 tornadoes in the United States, compared with 1,075 in all of 2020, according to preliminary data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Generally left-of-center and climate change minded USA Today said on Nov 30, 2021: “season that saw 21 named tropical storms and hurricanes. This was the third-most for any hurricane season, behind only 2020’s record 30 storms and the 28 storms that formed in 2005. A typical season sees 14 storms.” According to PBS’ Nova, perhaps the biggest known hurricane occurred before the industrial revolution.

Generally left-of-center and climate change minded USA Today said on Nov 30, 2021: “season that saw 21 named tropical storms and hurricanes. This was the third-most for any hurricane season, behind only 2020’s record 30 storms and the 28 storms that formed in 2005. A typical season sees 14 storms.”

According to left-leaning and man-made climate change reporting friendly PBS, their Nova program said that perhaps the biggest known hurricane occurred in the late 1700s.  That’s well before the modern industrial revolution, which is often blamed for greenhouse gases. Wikipedia said the Great Hurricane of 1780: “The hurricane killed 22,000 to 27,501 people, making it the deadliest hurricane in the recorded history of the Atlantic hurricane basin.”

Per Britannica,What is called the first Industrial Revolution lasted from the mid-18th century to about 1830 and was mostly confined to Britain. The second Industrial Revolution lasted from the mid-19th century until the early 20th century and took place in Britain, continental Europe, North America, and Japan.”

Man-made climate change reporting friendly Wikipedia said that the biggest measured hurricane was Hurricane Dorian. “Dorian struck the Abaco Islands on September 1 with maximum sustained winds of 185 mph (295 km/h), tying with the 1935 Labor Day hurricane for the highest wind speeds of an Atlantic hurricane ever recorded at landfall.” This was decades before talk of man-made climate change was occasionally or more routinely voiced, which began in the 1980s and gained speed in the 1990s and into the 21st century.  As Wikipedia put it, “The First Assessment Report (FAR) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was completed in 1990. It served as the basis of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).”

It must be noted that the climate has always changed, according to historians and geologists.  “According to a study published in Nature in 2021, all glacial periods of ice ages over the last 1.5 million years were associated with northward shifts of melting Antarctic icebergs which changed ocean circulation patterns, leading to more CO2 being pulled out of the atmosphere,” said Wikipedia. “Unlike the relatively stable climate Earth has experienced over the last 10,000 years, Earth’s climate system underwent a series of abrupt oscillations and reorganizations during the last ice age between 18,000 and 80,000 years ago (Dansgaard 1984, Bond et al. … Figure 1: Climate variability over the past 80,000 years,” said a report in Nature.

Skeptical Science produced the chart above that tracks the swings in climate for some 420,000 years. Yet, per man made climate change advocates, it would only be in the last roughly 200 years that industrialization has contributed in significant levels to C02 emissions.  A reasonable takeaway, based on such evidence? The climate is always changing. As humorist Will Rogers (1879-1935) “If you don’t like the weather in Oklahoma, wait a minute and it’ll change.” Serious minds do not doubt that climate change exists. But there are people on both sides of this discussion, and there is no lack of information that indicates that there are political agendas behind hyping climate fear, because the weather has always changed on planet Earth.



Nevertheless, there are reports for years that have seemingly implied or stated that living in mobile or manufactured homes was somehow more dangerous, due in part to climate change. One example is unpacked in the report below, in which the researchers involved made several admissions that did not get the media play that their original report garnered.


Emailed comments to MSU’s Skidmore from MHProNews’ Tony Kovach.


No Title

No Description

The image, arrow and commentary, questions were sent by Kovach for MHProNews to climate change, tornadoes and “mobile homes” MSU researcher Skidmore, and are pending a reply as part of a follow up questions.  Skidmore responded in part as follows.

Like it or not, there are billions spent annually in the U.S. by the federal government alone on funding for climate change and related studies. An example is shown below.

QuoteSignSymbol100x156Climate Change: Analysis of Reported Federal Funding › products › gao-18-223

Apr 30, 2018 — “According to Office of Management and Budget reports, federal climate change funding was $13.2 billion across 19 agencies in 2017.”



Additional Observations, Closing Commentary, and Conclusion

It is unknown at this point how many mobile or manufactured homes suffered significant damage in or near Mayfield, KY. But a specific inquiry to the Guardian’s Edward Helmore asking if he witnessed any such damage or has he seen any visuals that supported the claim his report made has drawn no response. Thus, Palmer’s report stands in stark contrast to the normal narrative that ‘mobile homes are a tornado magnet.’ It is sad that the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has done relatively little on issue. They have an article on the topic on their website, for instance. But as their former Chairman Tim Williams, President and CEO of 21st Mortgage Corporation said, there is a good case to be made that every report should be given a response by MHI. Then why isn’t that the case?

As the Associated Press (AP) Stylebook team told MHProNews, MHI has made no outreach on this topic. It is obvious that they must be held accountable for apparent their failure to do what their own leaders claim they should be doing. During an affordable housing crisis, the need to debunk the myths and misinformation about factory-built homes in windstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes or other such severe weather events is an apparent necessity. A single or occasional comment on matters of such serious consequence are obviously not enough.  ##





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Stay tuned for more of what is ‘behind the curtains’ as well as what is obvious and in your face reporting that are not found anywhere else in MHVille. It is all here, which may explain why this is the runaway largest and most-read source for authentic manufactured home “News through the lens of manufactured homes and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Affordable housing, manufactured homes, reports, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary. Third-party images or content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.) (See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them.)

All on Capitol Hill were welcoming and interested with the discussion of manufactured housing related issues on our 12.3.2019 meetings. But Texas Congressman Al Green’s office was tremendous in their hospitality. Our son’s hand is on a package that included the Constitution of the United States and other goodies. MHProNews has worked with people and politicos across the left-right divide.

By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for

Tony earned a journalism scholarship and earned numerous awards in history and in manufactured housing.

For example, he earned the prestigious Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied history and business management. He’s a managing member and co-founder of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and

This article reflects the LLC’s and/or the writer’s position, and may or may not reflect the views of sponsors or supporters.

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The 2.5 year overall downward trend finally reversed in March 2021, but the data is preserved at this link here.




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