Governor and First Lady Beshear reflect on one year anniversary of deadly tornado outbreak in Kentucky

On Thursday, WKYT’s Amber Philpott sat down with Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear and First Lady Britainy Beshear for an end-of-the-year interview.
Published: Dec. 9, 2022 at 12:26 PM EST
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(WKYT) - On Thursday, WKYT’s Amber Philpott sat down with Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear and First Lady Britainy Beshear for an end-of-the-year interview.

[Watch the whole interview below]

While their conversation include a wide range of topics, the looming anniversary of December 10, 2021, was the first thing discussed. Sitting down in the state reception room inside the capital, Governor Andy Beshear reflected on the year that started with him still coordinating relief efforts after that December tornado outbreak.

“While we made a lot of progress in the nearly a year, in the west, so much work remains to be done. Every new house is incredible. Seeing new houses in Dawson Springs is amazing. Seeing people get back up on their feet is really special. But until the job is done, I am not satisfied, and we are going to keep pushing. I’m going to be there for the one-year anniversary because people in the east and the west need to know that we are not going anywhere,” said Governor Andy Beshear.

One of the areas hardest hit in western Kentucky was the small community of Dawson Springs, a place Governor Beshear and his family know well. It is his father, former Governor Steve Beshear’s hometown. On Thursday, it was included in a list of areas that will soon see investment and new companies opening their doors.

“Dawson Springs was hard on you, I know, and that really tugged at your heart. This sounds really promising and amazing when you can talk about especially places that means so much to you,” said Amber Philpott.

“It is. Dawson Springs had never had anything like this happen. This is the town that my granddad put me on his tractor and drove me around, where I knew so many of these neighborhoods, and then to stand in it and to see nothing but destruction. I mean hundreds of homes just gone, only a pile of rubble. It is one of the hardest things and to lose that many people in a town that size, but then to see it come back. To see how strong people are, to see them come back when we do remembrance events to band together. That is an amazing town, but all of these communities are amazing communities and full of such good people,” said Governor Andy Beshear.

Through the heartache of not only tornadoes last December but also historic flooding in eastern Kentucky, the Governor has worked to try and get communities back on track while First Lady Britainy Beshear spent her time consoling and lifting up devastated families.

“First Lady, we have watched you. You are a mom; you are able to connect with so many Kentuckians, and you were there to do that for people in western Kentucky and eastern Kentucky. What has this year meant to you to in terms of really being able to get out and finally be able to connect with people in your role,” said Amber Philpott.

“I don’t know if I have the words. It has been extremely touching and gives me a sense of hope. As Andy said, people have gone through so much, but you are standing in the middle of the despair, and people are hopeful, and they are putting one foot in front of the other even though sometimes it’s really hard, and you see the resilience and the love and support people give one another, and it makes me feel very blessed to be a Kentuckian,” said First Lady Britainy Beshear.”

And once again, First Lady Beshear is once again trying to make Christmas special for children in Kentucky. She is currently collecting toy donations for children in eastern Kentucky affected by the summer flooding.

While the conversation was wide-ranging, the looming anniversary of December 10th, 2021, was the first thing they talked about.