Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Grimes Visits Counties Hit By Tornadoes

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is traveling to through counties in eastern Kentucky hit by severe weather to deliver supplies and assist with the relief effort.

Grimes is being accompanied by a group that includes the director of the state board of elections and business filings, who are meeting with county clerks and business owners to assess damage and formulate a plan to help in the long-term recovery.

The secretary of state says they are evaluating how to best assist area businesses in reopening their doors, ensure that our county clerks are prepared for upcoming elections and help restore school systems.

“Right now, we must ensure that citizens who were impacted by last Friday’s tornadoes have the essentials—food, shelter, clothing—available to them,” said Grimes. “But we are also mindful that assistance will be needed well into the future, as affected Kentuckians work to rebuild their lives.

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Young Addresses Tornado Damage in Southern Indiana

Speaking on the House floor Tuesday morning, U.S. Rep. Todd Young, R-In, discussed the deadly tornadoes that swept through his southern Indiana district last week and the sense of community that constituents have displayed to rebuild their lives.

Across the South and Midwest, the severe weather has caused serious injury and damage to hundreds of homes, killing 39 people in five states. The impact has hit southern Indiana particularly hard, where survivors are beginning to dig up and clean out.

Young says Hoosiers have not sat around and waited for others to help, but that aid would be coming to help them with the recovery work.

“Government at all levels will, and must, be there to help—from local authorities, to the State of Indiana, to our congressional offices. My staff and I, in particular, are eager to connect our constituents to whatever federal services, and funds, might be available to help them get their lives back on track,” he says.

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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Kentucky Federal Delegation Supports Disaster Declaration

Following Kentucky’s two U.S. Senators, the six members of the state’s House delegation sent a letter to President Barack Obama supporting Gov. Steve Beshear’s request for a federal disaster declaration.

An outbreak of storms and tornadoes last week caused damage to several Kentucky towns and Beshear has asked the president to provide the state with federal relief. Thus far, 21 residents have died and 48 counties have suffered extensive damage to public and private property.

Congressmen Ed Whitfield, Brett Guthrie, John Yarmuth, Geoff Davis, Harold Rogers and Ben Chandler said the severe weather caused damage that the state cannot pay for alone.

“As the Governor conveyed in his letter, the severity and scope of the damage caused by these storms is beyond the capabilities of the Commonwealth and the local governments that have been affected,” the delegation writes. “Immediate consideration of the Governor’s disaster declaration request on your part would aid Kentucky communities so severely affected by this most recent disaster.”

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Ron Paul: No Federal Relief for Tornado Victims

Standing by his libertarian principles, Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul reiterated his opposition to the Federal Emergency Management Agency when he said victims of the deadly tornadoes that hit Kentucky should not receive federal aid.

Last week, a series of storms across the South and Midwest caused injury, property damage and killed dozens, including small towns in Kentucky and southern Indiana.

The Texas congressman said the role of the federal government is to restore order and provide shelter through the National Guard, but that people affected by the storms should buy insurance instead.

“The people who live in tornado alley, just as I live in hurricane alley, they should have insurance,” he said.

Rather than federal funds, Paul argues there is plenty of generous and compassionate Americans who are willing to give after a disaster hits.

Ironically, Congressman Paul’s son, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who has also been a libertarian voice in Congress, wrote a letter to President Obama on Monday morning urging him to support a request for a major disaster declaration for Kentucky that would result in federal funds being released.

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

McConnell, Paul Urge President Obama to Support Disaster Declaration

In a joint letter sent to the White House Monday morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul urged President Obama to support a request for a major disaster declaration for Kentucky after a number of deadly tornadoes struck the commonwealth.

Last week, an outbreak of storms caused damage to several towns, including West Liberty, Piner and Salyersville, killing 21 residents and injuring hundreds more. On Sunday, Gov. Steve Beshear requested the president provided Kentucky with a federal disaster declaration to help fund the clean up and rebuilding.

“Timely and serious consideration of the governor’s disaster declaration request on your part would aid Kentucky communities and families so severely affected by this most recent disaster,” the two Senators wrote.

The governor has deployed around 400 National Guard troops to assist with security, traffic control and other needs. Beshear has said he is confident the damage exceeds the $5.8 million threshold required for Kentucky to receive federal aid.

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April 3, 1974 Remembered

April 3 marks the 35th anniversary of the super outbreak of tornados that killed more than 300 people in the U.S. The twisters claimed the lives of more than 70 people in Kentucky, with a death toll of 31 in the Ohio River town of Brandenburg.

WAVE television meteorologist Tom Wills was on duty when the severe weather struck the Louisville area on the afternoon of April 3rd, 1974. He says it was an extraordinarily powerful storm system.

“There have been large tornado outbreaks since, but nothing at all really compares to the magnitude.   The numbers—we were just getting into the infancy of the rating system for tornados, the F1s, twos, threes, fours and fives—the numbers of threes, fours and fives, were just phenomonal, percentage-wise, to the whole outbreak of tornados,” Wills said on WFPL’s State of Affairs program.

The storms left widespread damage across the Louisville area.

Wills says the outbreak spurred improvements to the city’s severe weather alert system.



(Photo of damage in the Louisville suburb of Northfield courtesy of the National Weather Service)