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McConnell to assess tornado damage in western Kentucky Friday

J. Tyler Franklin

Sen. Mitch McConnell will visit western Kentucky tomorrow to meet with local leaders and residents affected by last week’s deadly tornadoes.

The trip comes two days after President Biden toured damage of the area with Gov. Andy Beshear and Congressman Jamie Comer, who represents the region.

During a speech on the Senate Floor, McConnell said he’ll bring people’s concerns back to Washington to make sure they get help.

“The scene on the ground in western Kentucky is still devastating and quite discouraging. Far too many families this Christmas will be tragically abnormal,” McConnell said.

At least 75 people died in Kentucky during the tornadoes, according to state officials. Sixteen people are still missing, down significantly from the more than 100 unaccounted for earlier in the week.

Biden announced on Wednesday that the federal government will cover 100% of local governments’ cost recovering from the disaster, including debris cleanup and paying overtime for first responders.

McConnell expressed appreciation for the administration’s response in helping the region clean up after the storms.

“Because of the federal government’s swift action in the past week, victims of these tornadoes can access housing assistance, legal aid, crisis counseling and more. I recommend every impacted Kentuckian take advantage of these resources,” McConnell said.

Sen. Rand Paul surveyed damage in Bowling Green last weekend.

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Ryland is the state capitol reporter for Kentucky Public Radio. He's covered politics and state government for NPR member stations KWBU in Waco and KUT in Austin. Always looking to put a face to big issues,Ryland'sreporting has taken him to drought-weary towns in West Texas and relocated communities in rural China. He's covered breaking news like the 2014 shooting at Fort Hood Army Base and the aftermath of the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas.
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