Tornado survivors get keys to new camping trailers

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Published: Jan. 28, 2022 at 7:06 PM CST
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DAWSON SPRINGS, Ky. (WFIE) - Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear was at Pennyrile State Park in Hopkins County Friday to welcome families into their new temporary homes, brand new camping trailers.

There are 11 brand new trailers inside the park, ready for qualifying families to move into.

It’s temporary housing, meaning families have to reapply for qualification each month, for up to six months while FEMA gets through applications.

Opening the door to their new temporary home, April Jennings and her daughter Ashley are also opening the door to a second chance after December’s deadly storms.

Ashley is a senior at Dawson Springs High School, and her mom is thankful to have a place close to her school.

“We had a house we were staying in in Hanson, it’s about 40 miles away from Dawson,” said April. “It just wasn’t convenient to get her back in school, being a senior. The opportunity when they said they had place closer to Dawson, we said yes.”

This trailer is where Ashley will be earning her diploma, as Dawson Springs high is still remote.

First remote learning with COVID-19, and now with tornado recovery.

“When COVID happened I had to do online already, so it wasn’t that big of a shock because I’ve done it before, but it was definitely hard,” Ashley said.

Governor Beshear got his very own tour of their new trailer, and gave the Jennings a gift card to fill their fridge with groceries. He congratulated Ashley on her upcoming graduation as well.

“This, I think, will make her feel safe and secure that she can just concentrate on high school and getting graduated,” said April. “This can just be an adventure, you know she got to meet the governor. We’re just looking at it as positive.”

April and Ashley have one word for their new home for the time being, and that’s ‘relief’.

“It’s relieving,” said Ashley. “I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to graduate this year.”

“Just such a relief knowing they haven’t forgot about us,” said April. “It’s been over a month and we weren’t really sure what was going on. To know they’re thinking we still need help.”

After graduation, Ashley plans to attend Murray State University to study art.

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