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Kentucky's deadly tornado outbreak from the perspective of a 7-year-old

Raymond Delapena, 7, and his family all survived the devastating tornado that tore through Mayfield, Kentucky Friday night.

MAYFIELD, Ky. — Raymond Delapena is seven years old. He likes to draw and loves dinosaurs - he wants to be a paleontologist someday. 

Raymond also lived through one of the worst and deadliest tornado outbreaks in Kentucky history. He's from Mayfield, Kentucky, one of the communities hit hardest by Friday night's tornadoes.

"We all shook like an earthquake," Raymond said. He and his family gathered together in a hallway when the storm hit, his mom, Alejandra, putting up mattresses to protect Raymond and his little sister.

A giant tree crashed through the family's kitchen during the tornado and their home is now unlivable. Thankfully, their entire family survived.

"He was telling my mom that he was trying to protect his sister, but she wouldn't stop crying and then he started crying and just got scared more," Alejandra Delapena said.

Credit: WHAS11
7-year-old Raymond Delapena said he was sad about the destruction in his kitchen because of losing the snacks he liked in the refrigerator.

As the family walked through the wreckage of their home, Raymond said he was sad about damage in the kitchen.

"Because my and my little sister's yogurts and some of our stuff that I liked was in the fridge," he explained.

The Delapena's roof is now covered in a tarp as the town prepares for another round of wet weather. The tree that fell on the house has been chopped up and added to the ever-growing debris piles lining the roads of Mayfield as families work to rebuild.

As the Christmas season approaches, the holiday spirit may be a little dimmer than in years past in Mayfield, but Raymond is still hopeful that Santa will bring him some new coloring supplies for Christmas.

Thankfully, Alejandra said they've already told Santa where to deliver those gifts as their house gets repaired.

Contact reporter Rachel Droze at rdroze@whas11.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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