BREMEN, Ky. (WEHT) Leaders from one western Kentucky town hard hit by last month’s tornado say the American Red Cross isn’t doing enough to help tornado victims.
Among the claims: few getting applications approved and a lack of funding. But Red Cross officials dispute the claims.
“Saturday, I helped out a lady, and we filled out her application, and they told her that all funds had been exhausted for our area,” recalled Tammy Piper, who helped Bremen area tornado victims try to get relief funds from the Red Cross.
“We sat and she cried. She didn’t know what to do,” she said, recalling how the woman she was trying to help reacted.
“We only know of one in this area that’s been approved so far,” said Bremen Mayor Allen Miller. He, and other local leaders told Red Cross volunteers of stories of tornado victims having applications for financial relief denied and rumors of Red Cross funds for hit by the December 10th tornado running out.
“We feel like we’ve been left out by Red Cross. People’s needing help they lost everything they have, and they’re being denied,” said Muhlenberg Co. Magistrate Andrew Bullock.
But Red Cross officials say those rumors are false. Misty Thomas of the American Red Cross in Owensboro says they never sent a message that funds were depleted, and they’re also not pulling out of any areas hit by the tornado. She adds some of the financial help was focused on those whose homes were destroyed and they followed the same criteria as FEMA on damage assessment. They’re also focusing on the recovery process to get people to a temporary housing option.
“I’m hoping that’s reassuring,” says Piper.
While the American Red Cross doesn’t have a recovery center here in Bremen, there are others in Dawson Springs and other communities, which Thomas says will be the last week for case work. But officials here say some may not be able to travel to those centers due to lack of available transportation.
(This story was originally published on January 12, 2022)