FOX19′s Ethan Emery honored as Kentucky Colonel
CINCINNATI (WXIX) - FOX19 NOW meteorologist Ethan Emery has received the highest title of honor bestowed by the Governor of Kentucky - the title of Kentucky Colonel.
The Kentucky Colonel award is a lifelong honor that recognizes individuals for their noteworthy accomplishments and service to the community.
Emery was nominated for the prestigious award by WBKO’s Chief Meteorologist Shane Holinde following his extensive severe weather coverage of the devastating tornadoes that hit multiple cities and killed 88 people in 2021.
While Emery was incredibly humbled and honored after receiving the honor, he reflected on his experience as a reporter in the middle of chaos.
Emery was working at WBKO, one of FOX19′s sister stations, when the first tornado hit on Dec. 10.
“You could feel [the tornado], you could hear it, and you could see it briefly from our cameras before we lost power,” Emery said.
In the moment, Emery says he was able to put his emotions aside and focus on getting information out to people in the area.
Emery reported for 20 hours during the 27 hours of coverage.
When the last tornado siren expired around 5:30 a.m. on Dec. 11, Emery tried to process what had happened. He says he felt completely numb.
“[One of] the things that I remember when I walked outside was that it was absolutely quiet,” Emery said. “There were no lights because the entire city didn’t have power - it was eerie. At 6 a.m., I wanted to call my mom and my dad, and my sister just because the tornado that went through Bowling Green was only about 800 yards from our station.”
The aftermath left hundreds without homes or jobs and killed 74 Kentuckians.
“I have family in Kentucky and the friends that I had made in Bowling Green and the relationships I had with my co-workers, I value and cherish because that experience of dealing with such a traumatic event was something I’ll never let go of... it’s always in the back of my mind,” Emery said. “Even though I now live in Ohio, Kentucky is always going to be in my heart.”
After two years of living in the Commonwealth, Emery moved to Cincinnati but says Kentucky left a lasting imprint on him.
“I feel like I’ll always be a Kentuckian at heart and also an Ohioan -- I hope both states can acknowledge that it’s okay to do that,” he said.
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