Communities starting to rebuild two months after tornadoes

Communities starting to rebuild two months after tornadoes
Published: Feb. 10, 2022 at 5:50 PM CST
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BARNSLEY, Ky. (WFIE) - Thursday marks two months since the deadly tornadoes devastated much of Western Kentucky.

Just two months after some communities in Hopkins County were reduced to rubble, families are already starting to rebuild their homes in Barnsley Loop.

“We actually did a lot of cleanup before we started construction,” said Billy Wells, a neighbor who has been coordinating cleanup and rebuilding efforts. “It won’t be long before there’s more houses going up.”

Wells says he hasn’t taken a day off since the tornadoes hit two months ago.

Instead, Wells says he spends roughly 20 hours a day helping clean up the neighborhood and helping people rebuild.

Wells says he has big plans for Barnsley.

“We’re looking at 25 to 30 homes,” Wells said. “If we get the material, I’m hoping by June most all of these people will be back in their homes.”

Getting materials has been an issue. Wells says the donations from the community and beyond have been great, but what they need now is building materials.

“If we could get material donated, we’d have several more of these homes back up,” Wells said.

Wells says volunteers have come from many states to help in the rebuilding process.

He says with that help, anyone who wants to rebuild only needs to ask.

“Once we get materials in this area, it’ll go quick,” Wells said. “That’s my plans.”

Wells says some people are waiting to rebuild until their insurance money comes through.

Others, he says, could be waiting on FEMA.

The deadline to apply for FEMA aid was initially Friday, Feb. 11.

Gov. Andy Beshear announced Thursday that the FEMA deadline has been extended to March 13.

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