In wake of deadly weekend storms, Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief assessors survey damage, prepare to help


Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief assessors are fanning out across the state in the wake of the weekend's severe storms and tornadoes.

Assessors are positioned from east to west to determine how KYDR can bring hope, help and healing to devastated communities. Some volunteers, with chainsaws in hand, are already working in the northeastern Kentucky area of Greenup County after straight-line winds knocked down huge trees there last week.

Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief Director Ron Crow was traveling to Dawson Springs and Charleston areas of Kentucky to survey the damage. The area was hit hard when a tornado swept through over the weekend. It has been only three years since the 2021 deadly tornadoes in western Kentucky ravaged the community.

“It’s very tough on a community and the reality is the emotional side of it,” he said. “The 2021 tornado was so devastating, so many lives were lost, that even a windstorm now creates anxiety. There are some emotional struggles that are very real. So, we are dealing with that too. Even among the chainsaw needs we have there, some chaplains are needed to love on those people.”

The KYDR volunteers, wearing their yellow shirts, are a welcome sight for areas dealing with disaster. Property owners find solace in the volunteers working hard cleaning debris and running chainsaws to clear damage — showing them that, in the face of such tragedy, Jesus loves them.

Crow said the teams deal mostly with property owners, clearing huge limbs from homes and yards and dragging them to the street where they can be picked up and taken away. It will be an all-hands-on-deck situation throughout the week, he said.

Many communities across the commonwealth are dealing with power outages after winds snapped power poles and trees fell across power lines.

Disaster Relief teams will mobilize once the assessors determine the damage and what kind of help is needed, Crow said. Because of the damage throughout the state, it is more difficult than usual.

“It would be easier if we could focus on one area of the state,” he said.

A new piece of equipment, a large wheel loader, recently purchased by the Kentucky Baptist Foundation will be put to good use this week, Crow said.

Assessing teams are in Eddyville, Corbin and Island, while other teams are working in Louisville and Greenup County dealing with damage from last week’s storms, he said.

Five people lost their lives from the weekend storms, according to Gov. Andy Beshear. There was massive property damage throughout the state, he said in a press conference on Memorial Day.

You can donate here to help the Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief effort. In addition to cash contributions, Crow said KYDR would appreciate donations of gift cards to give to pastors in the affected areas to distribute as needed.


This story first appeared in Kentucky Today.