UPDATE: Storm survivors get keys to travel trailer ‘homes’
First families move into medium-term housing
UPDATE POSTED 5 P.M. JAN. 28, 2022
MAYFIELD, DAWSON SPRINGS, Ky. (WTVQ/Press Release) – Gov. Andy Beshear visited Mayfield and Dawson Springs to hand over travel trailer keys Friday to the first group of families who survived the deadly December tornadoes but lost their homes.
The Commonwealth Sheltering Program has provided 10 travel trailers located at the Mayfield Mobile Home Community and 10 at the Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park campground, and 180 more are on the way to help survivors in the 16 counties impacted by Dec. 10-11 tornadoes.
“What a hopeful day. Seeing these families move in is truly special,” said Gov. Beshear. “The road to full recovery will be long, but today we’re helping families start a new chapter with more space, privacy and comfort. These brand-new travel trailers are the next step as these folks continue to rebuild their lives, allowing many of them to move back to where their kids are in school and where they have even more support from their neighbors.”
At the Mayfield location, Gov. Beshear was pleased to hand Ashley Parnell and her 5-year-old son, Bentley, their keys.
“I am so grateful that my son and I will have the opportunity to get back to a normal routine and not spend so much time driving for his school commute,” said Parnell. “Thank you to Victory Through Faith in Paducah, which has let us stay at their facility since the tornado hit and have taken great care of us. But we are ready to be back in our hometown of Mayfield. I praise God and thank the Governor and his team for working aggressively on finding us shelter and staying true to their word. I can’t say thank you enough!”
Thursday, Gov. Beshear announced that the state had purchased 200 travel trailers from various RV dealers across Kentucky and that the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will help in placing the medium-term housing solutions. All travel trailers are brand new, either a 2022 or 2021 model, and range in size from 27 feet long to 36 feet long.
“Consistent with Gov. Beshear’s commitment, these units are medium-term steps toward full recovery,” said Transportation Secretary Jim Gray, who joined the Governor Friday. “For our fellow Kentuckians who in many cases have lost everything, it’s a bit of stability, privacy and safety.”
The program is courtesy of bipartisan legislation that also provides $30 million for the impacted school systems to provide help and support for students.
“With the beginning of the commonwealth’s temporary sheltering program in Mayfield and Dawson Springs today, we’re taking the first steps in the process of long-term recovery for our Western Kentucky survivors,” said Kentucky Emergency Management Director Michael Dossett. “The travel trailers represent our ability to leverage non-congregate sheltering solutions, prioritizing support for our most heavily impacted counties. In the coming weeks, we will continue to grow the sheltering program to relocate survivors back to their pre-disaster communities.”
ORIGINAL STORY POSTED 2 P.M. JAN. 27, 2022
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Gov. Beshear announced Thursday the state has purchased 200 travel trailers from various RV dealers across Kentucky through the Commonwealth Sheltering Program, created to help survivors from the 16 counties impacted by Dec. 10-11 tornadoes whose homes or apartments were damaged causing them to be displaced.
“These 200 travel trailers will provide some much needed medium-term housing for our people,” said Gov. Beshear. “We will be placing individuals in these temporary trailers who are not eligible for FEMA Direct Housing or sheltering from another agency or provider and priority will be given to families with school-age children. We’re also focusing on survivors currently staying at one of our Kentucky State Parks or a hotel outside of their home community. The travel trailers will provide more elbow room than hotels, more privacy and a safe space for the time being.”
The Governor was joined by Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman, Transportation Secretary Jim Gray, Kentucky Emergency Management Director Michael Dossett and lawmakers to announce that 20 travel trailers will be set up and move-in ready by tomorrow. Ten will be at the Mayfield Mobile Home Community and 10 at the Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park campground. Governor Beshear says he expects at least 14 families will get their keys Friday and move in.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will help in placing these medium-term housing solutions. All travel trailers are brand new, either a 2022 or 2021 model, and range in size from 27-feet long to 36-feet long.
Representatives from the counties affected were in attendance for Thursday’s announcement. Republican Representative, Richard Health, from Mayfield says these trailers are very needed.
“There are 400 homes that are gone in Mayfield and 147 businesses. So the need for the trailers is great and being able to expedite those and get those in quick is also great and we thank everybody involved” said Representative Heath.
To be eligible for the Commonwealth Sheltering Program, families must first register with FEMA before the disaster assistance deadline of Feb. 11. To apply for FEMA assistance, visit DisasterAssistance.gov, use the FEMA mobile app or call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362.