Gov. Beshear joins community leaders in Hopkins Co. on 6-month deadly tornadoes anniversary
HOPKINS CO., Ky. (WFIE) - Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear joined local leaders in Hopkins County on the six-month anniversary of the deadly December tornadoes.
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Dawson Springs is Beshear’s father’s hometown. During the visit, he presented $1.2 million in SAFE funding for land survey costs. Dawson Springs also received a $121,047 award from the fund in May, along with $58,500 awarded to Hopkins County earlier this month.
“Many may not realize what the cost of a survey is these days,” said Dawson Springs Mayor Chris Smiley. “This $1.2 million is going to help a lot of people here in Dawson Springs – hopefully even the ones who have already paid.”
Governor Beshear said these funds and all SAFE funds represent the state’s commitment to the people who were affected by December’s storm.
“It lets you know that your state and local government are in this every step of the way until every single piece is rebuilt,” he said.
Ashley and Kara McKnight were in attendance Friday, and both said they’ve had to see each of those steps play out, and they’ve felt just how much support can be provided.
“We’re living in one of the campers that he was fortunate to give,” Ashley said.
Their house was destroyed while they were already dealing with another tragedy.
“We lost our son in a car accident over Thanksgiving weekend,” McKnight said.
She said after the governor met them at Pennyrile State Park, he helped get them the flag that was flying over the state Capitol when her son died and when the tornado hit.
He also helped her daughter Kara make some changes to the intersection where she lost her brother.
“They decided it needed more signage, so her, in conjunction with him... [made it so] that intersection’s getting changed,” McKnight said.
In the months since, programs like Operation Blessing have helped them get back on their feet, and despite all they’ve faced, they’ll soon have a home again.
With more funds on the way, they hope to recover some of the money they used for their survey.
Click here for all of our coverage from the past six months.
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