3 Mayfield families handed keys to their new homes exactly 6 months after devastating tornadoes
MAYFIELD, KY. (KFVS) - Six months ago on Friday, a devastating tornado hit western Kentucky, killing 81 people.
On Friday, June 10, the community celebrated a milestone in the recovery efforts in hard-hit Mayfield.
“I pledged on that day that while we had been knocked down we were not knocked out. That we would get back up again and we would move forward. And six months to the day, we’re not just up, we’re not just standing on our feet we are moving forward,” said Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear.
Beshear visited Mayfield on Friday afternoon as keys to three newly built homes are handed over to families who lost nearly everything on December 10.
“It means joy, and love,” said Barbara Patterson of Mayfield.
Patterson and her husband lived in their old home for 37 years. After that night, they didn’t know if they’d build back.
“Because this is our home, we got good memories here, bad memories here. But this is our home. We love Mayfield. We love the people of Mayfield,” said Patterson.
Francisco Rios and his family were welcomed into their new home with some touching music. He and his family are happy to have a home they can call theirs again.
“I’m so excited, I’m so happy to go back home after six months,” he said.
Rios was unsure if he and his family would build back in Mayfield, but he’s filled with excitement with his new home.
“I just want to say, I’m so happy and seeing the hard work in everybody helped,” he said.
Patterson added that it was all the help from around the country that kept them fighting back to rebuild.
“The most important out of this long journey is people that we don’t even know, they cry with us, prayed with us and they gave us money and they love us and that’s what kept us going,” Patterson said.
The state’s public protection cabinet, which administers the fund, nonprofit groups Habitat for Humanity, Homes and Hope for Kentucky and The Fuller Center for Housing submitted proposals to build up to 100 homes each.
Homes will be built in the counties that were eligible for individual and household assistance through FEMA.
The first three homes were through the nonprofit group Homes and Hope for Kentucky, which partnered with Mennonite Disaster Services and Amish groups in the region to build and repair homes without labor costs.
Homes and Hope is expected to fund up to 100 homes with 12 additional houses under construction in Graves County.
According to Governor Beshear, the federal, state and Red Cross assistance efforts have surpassed an estimated $193 million for Kentucky storm recovery.
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