Rep. Hal Rogers (R) of the Fifth Congressional District visited several eastern Kentucky cities to address storm damage and meet with FEMA, state and local officials to offer his help and see where they stood just weeks after the storms.
County officials said that Rogers has been there before and will stand by those he represents in times of need.
“He has been there for us ever since I became judge executive in 2003 for whatever we needed,” said Morgan County Judge Executive Tim Conley.
Rogers took a car tour through the city of West Liberty with Conley. The first stop was at the old courthouse where Rogers took a look at a sign with his name on it that was left still standing.
Rogers also met with the public at the Rifle Coal Company on Kentucky 172. He told the crowd he was proud to represent the people of eastern Kentucky.
“They have the determination to come back and that makes people like me want to help them even more,” said Rogers.
Rogers said he has been working with FEMA officials in Washington, D.C. since day one but wanted to witness the destruction with his own eyes and offer his support.
“I have never seen destruction like this before anywhere and I have been to Afghanistan,” said Rogers.
“This is absolutely devastating.”
Rogers said it was important for him to get a firsthand glimpse of what has happened to the people of this region. he says that there is one characteristic of eastern Kentuckians that will allow them to heal after the pain and devastation that they have faced.
“The people's spirit here is high and that is the necessary ingredient,” said Rogers.
County officials agreed the outpouring of support makes the difference in the journey that lies ahead.
“There's not one word... every word that you can describe loving and caring just tied all up, i don't know what that word is,” said Conley.
Conley and Rogers said the coming together where they have been, and where they will go.
“From the federal level, from the state level to the county, all the way down the line how we have all worked hand in hand to move this thing forward, yeah we have a mess, and it is going to take some time,” said Conley.
“We are a long ways from where we started three weeks ago.”
Rogers also went to Salyersville to assess damage. He said he will do all he can to rebuild the livelihood of the people he represents.