MAYFIELD, Ky. – Less than a month after a series of tornadoes ripped through the Mid-South damaging thousands of homes, the American Red Cross said about 1,200 families are still displaced in Kentucky.
Western Kentucky is ground zero for the tornado outbreak, where an EF4 tornado caused 166-miles of destruction less than two weeks before Christmas. The National Weather Service has confirmed more than 60 tornadoes as part of the severe weather across America's Heartland on Dec. 10.
Taylor Poisall, American Red Cross spokesperson, said 1,200 people remain displaced after losing everything in the storm. Organizations like the Red Cross and Team Rubicon partner with state and federal officials to help tornado survivors begin to make repairs or find new homes.
More than 450 Red Cross volunteers are on the ground in Kentucky, helping to provide support, food, shelter and other needs. Trained disaster workers can help survivors determine what resources are available to begin steps toward recovery.
"Every disaster starts local, and it ends local, which means that our local Kentucky Red Cross is going to be here for the communities, they live here and were affected by this tornado, but they're also going to be there to comfort their neighbors in the weeks and months to come because the Red Cross is in every community," Poisall said.
In an update on Monday, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said the recovery could take years.
"We are here for the long haul," Beshear said. "Rebuilding these homes and structures and lives is going to take years, and we’ve got to make sure that when support is needed down the road, we have it and can deploy it quickly to help these families."
After the tornadoes, Kentucky opened its State Parks to provide housing for displaced families. As of Monday, 606 displaced Kentuckians and 154 first responders were staying at Kentucky State Parks.
According to the governor, more than 11,400 people have successfully registered for federal disaster assistance with over $4.7 million in aid approved.
The latest cost estimates put the catastrophe at $3 billion in damages. The death toll from the tornadoes in Kentucky stands at 77.