Kentucky Strong: Owensboro Firefighters Rally Support for Tornado Victims
The end of 2021 and the start of 2022 were certainly devastating for many Kentuckians. Normally in December we're bracing for the onset of winter weather. In the last few weeks, however, it hasn't been snow, ice or cold temperatures at all. Here in the Commonwealth, our friends and neighbors have been battling severe weather- specifically a wave of intense and powerful tornadoes that plowed through the southwestern part of Kentucky.
No one will soon forget the absolutely shattering images from Mayfield, Bremen, Bowling Green and other Kentucky towns that were, in spots, leveled by the December 10th tornadoes. It was the damage from those twisters (specifically the EF-4 that stayed on the ground for over 200 miles and plowed through various towns) that inspired Owensboro resident Andy Shively and his coworkers from the Owensboro Fire Department to rally the troops.
Andy printed a bunch of Kentucky Strong stickers and has been selling them to raise money for tornado relief. Little did he know, when he ordered them and shared his post the day before Christmas Eve, that there we would be additional tornadoes touching down in Kentucky just a week later- on New Year's Day.
In fact, late this past weekend, the National Weather Service confirmed that four tornadoes hit the Commonwealth on January 1st. The cities affected included Hopkinsville and, yes, Bowling Green again. 31 of Kentucky's 120 counties were hit by powerful storms on the first day of the year. It certainly wasn't the way anyone was expecting to start 2022.
So, Andy and his friends have even more fellow Kentuckians to help and they're encouraging you, if you'd like to be part of the OFD efforts, to purchase a Kentucky Strong decal to show your monetary and emotional support.
The Kentucky Strong stickers are available at OFD Station #1 at 9th and Locust here in Owensboro. Car decals are $5. The smaller stickers are $2 a piece. In Andy's words, "The best part is 100% of the proceeds are going directly to tornado relief efforts." The team plans to donate those proceeds to the American Red Cross.
While the decals are intended for motor vehicles, the stickers can be displayed on just about anything- from helmets to bumpers to laptops, guitar cases and more.
This morning, Andy joined Angel and me on the WBKR morning show to chat about the Kentucky Strong fundraiser: