HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (WEHT) A new temporary home for some western Kentucky tornado survivors arrives as they work toward getting a new permanent home.
Governor Andy Beshear and Hopkins County leaders handed the keys for ten new travel trailers to the survivors.
They’re part of a statewide effort to find more temporary housing as people continue rebuilding their lives. While it gives some tornado survivors a temporary place to stay, it also gives them the chance to find a more permanent home.
The Van Matre family’s home was damaged in the December 10th tornado. The travel trailer will work as a temporary home as they wait on their insurance company.
“We never had a camper, and I think this is our very first camper, and I think it’s beautiful,” said Isaac Van Marte.
They were the first of ten families in Hopkins County to get the trailers, some of the two hundred the state ordered, and will have placed at Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park, Mayfield and other places, depending on available spaces to hook up to utilities. The trailers are offered to families for up to six months, and another six months can be requested if needed.
“Something good, it seemed like, finally coming to us. We reached out and tried help through different avenues, and this has come our way,” said Jerome Van Marte.
Governor Beshear said the 200 new travel trailers cost about $7.5 million, which comes from $15 million approved by the Kentucky General Assembly as part of a recently passed tornado relief bill. Some of the other half of the money will cover utility costs.
“It was just impossible to think that it could move that fast,” said Hilda Miller, who has stayed with family since the tornado damaged her home. She says it makes it easier to settle in and find a permanent home, since it’s been tough for her finding places to rent nearby.
“I’m hoping that something will come along in the future, something more permanent because I realize this is not a permanent situation, but this is a life saver right now for us. So, I’m happy to be here,” she says.
(This story was originally published on January 28, 2022)