U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell

McConnell: Amid Tragic Flooding, Kentuckians Step Up to Help Victims

We learn more each day about the devastating toll that ongoing flooding has inflicted in Eastern Kentucky… I spoke with the Governor, state legislative leaders, and officials on the ground in Eastern Kentucky yesterday. They echoed the need for food, cleaning supplies, and water. In such dire times, the ray of hope is the fact that generous Kentuckians from across the Commonwealth are hearing these calls for help and answering loud and clear.’

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks Tuesday on the Senate floor regarding the flooding in Kentucky:

“We learn more each day about the devastating toll that ongoing flooding has inflicted in Eastern Kentucky.

“As rescue and recovery efforts continue, Kentuckians are grieving lost family members, friends, and neighbors.

“One of the victims of last weekend’s flash floods was Gabe Hensley, a thirty-year-old coal miner and father.

“Gabe was working a shift when the floods hit. On his way home to rescue his wife and son, he stopped to help a man who had wrecked a four-wheeler. He cleared trees and turned people away from danger.

“Tragically, the floodwaters swept Gabe away. As Gabe’s cousin told the Herald-Leader yesterday, ‘Eastern Kentucky lost a hero.’

“We are all grieving for the men, women, and children this flood has taken from us.

“The Hensley family has asked that people honor Gabe by helping flood victims.

“Flooding, high winds, and power outages are still ongoing. And forecasters predict more heavy rainfall in the region throughout the next week. The threat of even more disaster in Eastern Kentucky is acute.

“I spoke with the Governor, state legislative leaders, and officials on the ground in Eastern Kentucky yesterday. They echoed the need for food, cleaning supplies, and water.

“In such dire times, the ray of hope is the fact that generous Kentuckians from across the Commonwealth are hearing these calls for help and answering loud and clear.

“Already, the Eastern Kentucky relief fund has received about $2.3 million in charitable donations. Across my home state, from the Winchester VFW to neighborhood restaurants in Northern Kentucky, locals are organizing donation drives.

“The University of Kentucky and University of Louisville’s men’s basketball teams are both fundraising for flood relief. And police departments from around the region donated cruisers to help with search and rescue.

“All this generosity will play a crucial role as we rebuild. As the officials I spoke to emphasized, it will be a long road ahead for the families affected by these floods.

“But I know I speak for every Kentuckian when I say we will be with them every step of the way.”

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