LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- What's left after five tornadoes hit central and western Kentucky in December? Damaged homes and businesses.
Two months after the deadly tornadoes in western Kentucky, clean-up continues in several counties. In Dawson Springs, people like Dee Pendley are still picking up the pieces, but she said she's probably not going to rebuild.
"I'm thinking about moving back to one of the apartments that's still standing," Pendley said.
After the storm, she moved to a nearby city and is spending a lot of time with her parents whose home was not damaged.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration approved more than $49 million in federal assistance for homeowners and renters who don't have insurance. The cash infusion is meant to help them get their lives back on track.
The city of Mayfield in Graves County was hit hard by the storm. The tornado damaged or destroyed about 1,300 homes, businesses and houses of worship Dec. 10 when it swept through the close-knit town of some 10,000 residents. Since December, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has removed more than 280,000 cubic yards of debris. All over Mayfield, you'll find piles of debris ready to be picked up for the next round of removal. Buildings are getting demolished before rebuilding can start.
"I want folks to know that even though the national attention has turned elsewhere and the news cameras are gone, our administration is committed to standing side by side through this process as they rebuild their lives," Kentucky Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman said.
Gov. Andy Beshear provided an update on storm relief efforts on Thursday.
"Looking at the next steps for the Team Western Kentucky Relief Fund, we believe once we are able to provide relief to the insured — we provided some relief to the uninsured — we're gong to be able to directly invest in rebuilding," he said.
Homeowners and renters impacted by the tornadoes have until March 13 to apply for aid through FEMA, which said the assistance isn't a substitute for insurance. It's intended to meet basic needs and supplement disaster recovery efforts.
And with higher lumber prices and other buildings costs, some worry it'll be too expensive to rebuild.
On the ground, the worry continues about day-to-day things like basic necessities. Some residents said they still need more hot meals in their communities.
"We're still getting stuff like water, blankets and stuff like that," Pendley said.
To see the latest FEMA information on Kentucky’s recovery from the tornadoes, click here.
Next week on WDRB News, we'll bringing you several stories of survival, recovery and hope from Mayfield and Dawson Springs.
Copyright 2022 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.