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McConnell sees Warren County sites where 12 of 17 local residents died in tornado

Rhonda J. Miller

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell saw some of the Warren County neighborhoods Friday where last weekend’s tornadoes damaged or destroyed 900 homes and killed 17 county residents.  

The long-time Kentucky senator stopped at the Bowling Green clearinghouse for tornado response volunteers.

McConnell saw the destroyed homes where 12 of the 17 Warren County residents lost their lives in the tornado. Statewide, the death toll from the tornadoes that ravaged western and southern parts of the commonwealth stands at 77.

McConnell said FEMA and other agencies are working as quickly as possible help local residents impacted by the storm. 

“The federal money will flow in here easily for the first month. After that it becomes more complicated," McConnell said. "We’ll be working with local officials and homeless people to try to get them back up and running.”

At the Western Kentucky University Center for Research and Development that’s set up as a clearinghouse for volunteers, McConnell complimented the well-organized effort. 

Volunteer coordinator Clay Mullins said McConnell’s visit was important.  

“I think it’s great that Senator McConnell comes. I think it’s great that he draws attention to what’s happening down here," said Mullins. "You know, it shows he loves our city, like we do.”

Mullins said the volunteer center has sent out more than 3,000 people with chainsaws to clear debris and on other recovery projects during the week since the tornado. 

Rhonda Miller joined WKU Public Radio in 2015. She has worked as Gulf Coast reporter for Mississippi Public Broadcasting, where she won Associated Press, Edward R. Murrow and Green Eyeshade awards for stories on dead sea turtles, health and legal issues arising from the 2010 BP oil spill and homeless veterans.
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