FRANKFORT, Ky. — Friday marks six months since several deadly tornadoes swept across western Kentucky killing 81 Kentuckians and leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.
The hardest hit areas include Mayfield, Dawson Springs and Bowling Green.
“I will never forget the promise I made to the people of western Kentucky the morning after the tornadoes hit,” Governor Andy Beshear said on Thursday. “Which is that we will be there until every home and life is rebuilt. We are keeping that promise.”
Beshear said he plans to visit Mayfield once again to celebrate the first fully constructed new homes.
He said that it’s estimated that federal, state and Red Cross disaster assistance efforts total more than $193.3 million and nearly 2,600 individuals have been housed through emergency programs.
Following the storms, donations poured into the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund, totaling more than $52 million. Of that, Beshear said more than $26 million has been distributed.
In May, he announced $16 million would go towards building 300 homes for families whose homes were lost to the storms.
The Kentucky governor said since the Dec. 10 tornadoes, crews have worked day and night to remove more than 2.5 million cubic yards of debris in 19 counties. That’s about 250,000 dump truckloads of debris.
“Although this is the worst natural disaster in Kentucky’s modern history, the rebuilding and recovery effort have truly taken a total team effort and much progress has been made,” Beshear said. “This work will continue until we rebuild every structure and every life.”
More on western Kentucky’s recovery since December: