Lawmakers pass relief bill to help western Ky. tornado victims

Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 4:19 PM CST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - A $200 million relief bill is heading to the governor to help western Kentucky tornado victims. Lawmakers unanimously passed the bill in both chambers.

The devastation in Mayfield and Bowling Green, along with several other areas, was unbelievable. In total, 77 people were killed, and the cost of all the damage is still being assessed. Hundreds of people are still without shelter as well.

One by one, lawmakers stood up, reliving a night they’ll remember forever— December 10.

“We were lucky. Others about a half mile down the road weren’t so lucky,” Rep. Chris Freeland said.

The Kentucky House of Representatives passed a bill providing relief Wednesday. Legislators on both sides of the aisle said western Kentuckians need immediate financial help.

“Our business community, our agriculture community, was completely devastated,” said Rep. Michael Meredith, who represents District 19.

Kentucky Emergency Management Director Michael Dossett said cleanup is coming along, but hundreds are still without shelter.

“It’s going to be difficult for these communities to build back when people have to move somewhere else to find shelter, another school system,” Rep. Jim Gooch Jr. said, who represents District 12.

Lawmakers talked about the cost of recovery.

“It will take years to fully recover and require further action by this body, but rebuild we will,” Rep. Walker Thomas said.

Some members of the House emphasized the need for continued funding of mental health services following the disaster.

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