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Recovery progress continues nearly a year after deadly western Kentucky tornadoes

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Stu Johnson
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Left to right-Homeowner Faye Cornett, Long Term Recovery Construction Manager Joe Workman

A week from this Saturday will mark the one-year anniversary of a deadly tornado that struck several communities in western Kentucky. Recovery efforts today take on various forms.

Joe Workman said Dawson Springs still has a long way to go when it comes to full recovery from the storm which took 14 lives in the Hopkins County town. The construction manager in long-term recovery noted progress is coming along faster than anticipated. But, he added fully rejuvenating the economy will be a challenge.

“It’s a great big thing. We’ve got to have people to run factories. We’ve got to have factories so people will move back into Dawson Springs. So, it’s a difficult situation that we’ve just got to overcome.”

Workman said there will continue to be a need for volunteers to help with the rebuilding effort. He said that includes the skilled and unskilled. As Workman puts it, quote, “there’s a job out there for every one of us.” He added progress is happening at a promising rate.

“When I came to work with long term, we were looking at ten years to get Dawson Springs and Hopkins County back to where it needed to be. But, now a lot of the charities are thinking it could be as small a number as three years.”

Workman said adequate housing will certainly remain a key issue. He noted many of those that lost their homes are still staying with others out of the county and even out of state.

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Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 30 years.
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