KENTUCKY (WEHT) – On December 10, 2021, tornadoes swept through Western Kentucky, causing an estimated $305 million in damage to homes, churches and businesses in Mayfield, Dawson Springs, Bowling Green and other communities. In the aftermath, first responders and emergency managers, nonprofits, Commonwealth and FEMA officials rushed to the scene, trying to assess the damage and assist survivors.
Since that night, one year later, families, businesses and communities are rebuilding. It’s estimated that between $50 to $100 million in insurance payments have flowed into these communities helping homeowners and businesses rebuild safer and stronger. While an additional more than $75 million in federal assistance from FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration has helped those with disaster-related needs not met by insurance or other assistance.
Currently, 55 families are participating in FEMA’s Direct Temporary Housing program. 37 families have moved out of FEMA’s Direct Temporary Housing and into their permanent housing. Nearly 1,600 families received temporary rental assistance from FEMA. They receive up to 18 months of rental assistance while they repair their tornado-damaged homes or find other permanent housing.
As the recovery progresses, nonprofits continue to help with activities ranging from building homes to helping survivors with their critical needs such as home repairs, appliances and vehicle repair or replacement.
To date, 35 families have received keys to a new home built in cooperation with Homes and Hope for Kentucky, Habitat for Humanity and the Fuller Center on Housing plan.
Local long-term recovery groups have been focused on temporary rental, utility and security deposit assistance as well as structural repairs to survivors’ homes. They may provide spiritual and emotional resources, essential appliances for homes and transportation needs for medical transportation, work and school.
“We have made a lot of progress, but our work will continue until every structure and life is rebuilt,” Governor Beshear said. “We will continue bringing new economic promise to this area to ensure these communities have a brighter future than ever before.”