Gov. Andy Beshear visits tornado victims in Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park


DAWSON SPRINGS, Ky (WEHT) – On Thursday, Governor Andy Beshear, First Lady Britainy Beshear and Lieutenant Governor Jacqueline Coleman returned to the Tri-State to meet with tornado victims staying at Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park. It happens nearly two weeks after the tornado, and two days before Christmas.

On tables at Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park, there were toys ranging from action figures to coloring books. This is all part of the process for tornado victims to reclaim what they lost from the tornado earlier this month, and to reclaim some of that Christmas spirit.

“I cannot tell you how many have gotten that gift they really wanted the most, and just seeing pure joy, after everything they’ve been through, is pretty special,” said Gov. Beshear.

Ashley McKnight and her daughter, Kara, got help picking out gifts from Governor Beshear. In return, they gave a Live Like Logan bracelet, in honor of her son, Logan, who died in a car accident last month.

“He would be on those streets clearing with a backhoe, he would be all over this, helping everybody. I feel like he’s there. Everybody is helping everybody. My street was hit the hardest, and everybody on the street is helping everybody out,” Ashley said, describing how Logan would have helped his community.

Gov. Beshear says the commitment to helping those affected must continue beyond the holidays. He says things like the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief fund will help cover rebuilding costs for years.

“We’re going to continue to be able to invest and assist these families because we’re going to rebuild every brick, every structure, every schoolhouse, but mainly, we’re going to rebuild every life,” he said.

Some of the people staying at Pennyrile may have lost much in the tornado, but they say they haven’t lost their Christmas spirit.

“You can’t let something like this get you down because if you do, you hear it in the news everyday, it will get you down all  the time. It’s God’s birthday coming up, everyone is coming together, they need to have a big celebration,” said Alan Barker, whose Dawson Springs home was damaged in the tornado.

(This story was originally published on December 23, 2021)

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