Tornadoes in US: Kentucky Stimulus Efforts Will Take Time, Money, and Stoke Fractured Politics | US News


In this Kentucky community, resilience and faith run deep.

At the First Baptist Church in the heart of Mayfield, Sunday worship takes place at 11 a.m. each week. It was that day too, for a congregation that survived, in a church that is still standing.

But beyond the church, the center of this city is devastated. Businesses, houses, lives, all destroyed.

It’s hard to imagine being in the middle of it all as the tornado swept through

At every street corner, they pick up what is left. the tornado force his way through the place, whipping everything with such extraordinary power.

Old brick buildings have been torn from their foundations. Factories made of iron and steel are now twisted wrecks.

At the corner of 6th and North Streets, I met Elyce Ray. For her, the view was just too much.

“I’ve been through town a few times and seen it all. It’s so overwhelming, you know, to know that the town you grew up in and everything, you know, the memories, are all gone.” she said.

We stand next to what’s left of his local law firm. It designates the owner. David Hargrove stands by a desk in what was once his office. Except now there are no more walls and no more roofs.

His attempt to organize the mess around him seems so futile, yet we find him with a brave smile on his face.

“You smile or you cry, you know. You don’t have much time for tears; I have had. And so, you know, we’re just trying to clean up as best we can and go. alone, of course. This devastation has never been seen around here before. “

governor of kentucky
Kentucky governor pledged help and money

Even the buildings that are still standing here have lost their roofs. The tower of the historic courthouse has been overthrown. He fell inward, causing a large part of this municipal monument to collapse.

Next to it were father and daughter, Jim and Sarah Palmer. They both looked tired and dazed.

“I’ve lived here my whole life and seeing it all destroyed – it hurts a bit,” Sarah said.

“I think we will come back and we will come back bigger and better than ever,” added his father Jim.

Kentucky tornadoes
The tornado made its way through town

Walking around this city is an overwhelming experience. The photos and video don’t seem to really capture the enormity of the damage.

Block after block, there is such extraordinary destruction. It will take a long time for them to recover.

It’s hard to imagine being in the middle of it all as the tornado swept through.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear was here today for a second day to support the community and pledge aid and money.

“Look around you, we have lost countless lives,” he told me.

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Community search for survivors

“We are looking for each other and we will be there for anyone who needs our help,” he said. “We are opening our homes to each other. We are going to make sure they are fed; we are going to rebuild. We are going to get there, but we are mourning people today.”

The rebuilding he has undertaken will take time, it will cost money, and it will all stir up fractured politics here too.

It doesn’t take long in communities like this for politics to enter the conversation. It is a divided nation. Beshear, a Democrat, won the governorship here in 2019 with just 0.37% of the vote.

But in last year’s presidential election, Republican Donald Trump won the state with 62%. Joe Biden only managed 36%.

Kentucky governor wants consequences declared major federal disaster by government

On the outskirts of the city, beyond a roadblock, it is the cost in human lives of this tornado.

For two days and two nights, they have been looking for survivors in the candle factory in the city where more than a hundred people worked at night on Friday. Hour by hour, the good news here seems less likely.

Back in church, they’re carried by faith, but they’re going to need more than that here.

President Biden has pledged help and support. There isn’t much here yet though. It really is a community struggle.


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