PAINTSVILLE — Even though his county saw two people killed, over $2 million in damage and over 500 homes severely damaged or destroyed, Judge-Executive R.T. “Tucker” Daniel says Johnson County got off light when a killer tornado ripped through the area the night of March 2, 2012.
“We were lucky,” Daniel said in an interview Wednesday. “It could have been much worse.”
Now, one year later, Daniel says his county’s recovery is nearly complete.
Daniel said just over 500 families qualified for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Of those, just over 400 have already had their cases completed and several more have been deemed low-priority due to minor damages, leaving just “50 or 60” families still waiting for FEMA assistance.
On Feb. 11, U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers and Gov. Steve Beshear pledged a combined $30 million in government funding for the rebuilding effort in West Liberty and Morgan County. Daniel said he does not expect any such coordinated funding effort for Johnson County, because Johnson County did not have anywhere near the amount of commercial and public property damage that West Liberty had.
“They had their downtown almost completely destroyed,” Daniel said. “Their governmental structures — the old courthouse, the new courthouse, city hall — were hit hard.”