Gov. Beshear: More than $200M in disaster assistance for western Ky. victims to date

Governor Beshear updated Kentuckians on western Kentucky tornado recovery, Hunger Action Month...
Governor Beshear updated Kentuckians on western Kentucky tornado recovery, Hunger Action Month and an award to plug orphan wells.(Gov. Andy Beshear)
Published: Sep. 8, 2022 at 3:30 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 8, 2022 at 3:41 PM CDT
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KENTUCKY (KFVS) - Governor Andy Beshear updated Kentuckians on western Kentucky tornado recovery, Hunger Action Month and an award to plug orphan wells in his Team Kentucky Update on Thursday, Sept. 8.

Western Kentucky tornado update

“Soon we will recognize the nine-month anniversary of the December 10-11 tornadoes. As we continue to mourn those we lost, I want to provide some updates on where we stand on helping the survivors of the Western Kentucky storms rebuild and recover,” Gov. Beshear said. “We continue to stand with western Kentucky.”

According to the governor’s office, federal, state and Red Cross disaster assistance totals more than $224.3 million to date, with the Commonwealth of Kentucky efforts representing more than $123 million through SAFE Act Funds and the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund.

  • Through the Western Kentucky SAFE Fund, $71.3 million has been approved to provide shelter in travel trailers, support impacted schools and their students and provide local rebuilding assistance.
  • The Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund raised more than $52 million, with more than $42.5 million committed from the fund for both short- and long-term recovery efforts, which included paying for victims’ funerals and housing.
  • At the highest point, Kentucky State Parks housed and provided food service for 835 people. As of last week, Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park had one camper on-site. According to a release, the last distressed guest checked out of Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park on July 18.
  • Currently, 164 individuals are being sheltered in eight travel trailers across Western Kentucky. At the peak of the sheltering program, 99 families were sheltered in travel trailers. Approximately 44 decommissioned and 75 vacant trailers have been moved from western to eastern Kentucky.

Hunger Action Month

On Wednesday, Sept. 7, Gov. Beshear recognized September as Hunger Action Month in the commonwealth.

The governor’s office says Kentucky has the ninth-highest rate of hunger in the nation. More than 200,000 kids may not know where their next meal is going to come from.

According to a release, the Beshear administration delivered more than 5 million meals to Kentucky seniors during the pandemic.

The governor also vetoed the legislature’s decision to cut SNAP benefits for more than 600,000 Kentuckians, before that veto was overridden.

Orphan Wells

As part of his Better Kentucky Plan’s Stronger Communities Program, Gov. Beshear announced a $25 million federal grant to plug orphan oil and gas wells across the commonwealth.

The governor’s office says this initiative is expected to create 180 jobs.