FRANKFORT, Ky. — Governor Andy Beshear gave new updates on western Kentucky recovery, response to deadly tornadoes. The total death count is now at 77 Kentuckians, the latest being an infant, Beshear said.
“Britainy and I ask everyone to join us in lifting up this family and their friends and community in prayer,” said Gov. Beshear.
Emotional, spiritual, and behavioral care teams are working in the impacted communities. They have made over 4,000 contacts within western Kentucky and are providing emotional and psychological support to survivors.
The Team Western Kentucky Relief Fund has now received nearly $30 million with 130,491 total donations. They have issued 39 funeral expense checks.
"This fund is for the long-haul," said Beshear. "Rebuilding these homes and structures and lives is going to take years. And we have got to make sure when support is needed down the road that we have it, it's there, and we can deploy it quickly to help these families."
Beshear said there will be three waivers available for snap benefits.
The first waiver will be for current Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) users to get a benefit replacement. To replace them call the Department of Community Based Services.
The second wavier is to provide an automatic replacement of December benefits to affected counties.
The last waiver allows authorization of hot foods at approved SNAP retailers.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is available to people who are directly unemployed as a direct result of the severe weather. To apply you can call (502) 875-0442 or apply online. Applications are due by Dec. 29.
Counties eligible are: Barren, Caldwell, Christian, Fulton, Graves, Hart, Hickman, Hopkins, Logan, Lyon, Marshall, Marion, Muhlenberg, Ohio, Taylor and Warren.
There are five locations where residents can apply for DUA in person. Applying in person is not mandatory. These locations are to assist people in not only filling out forms but also answering questions. They are:
- 262 Scottsville Road, which is the Greenwood Mall in the old Sears store, Bowling Green, KY 42101
- 56 Federal Street, Madisonville, KY
- 233 Ring Road, Elizabethtown, KY
- 3108 Fairview Drive, Owensboro, KY
- 1220 Eagles Way, Mayfield, KY
The Mayfield and Madisonville locations will close at 3 p.m. Dec. 29. The deadline to apply for assistance is Jan. 18.
First Lady's Toy Drive
First Lady Britainy Beshear said so many toys had been donated that they will be able to provide toys to the children for their 2022 birthdays.
“In less than one week, you gave millions of dollars in in-kind donations to help provide financial relief to parents at Christmastime,” First Lady Beshear said. “But the true value of this initiative can’t be measured with a dollar amount."
Watch the livestream here: