Governor accepts flood relief donation during Hopkinsville visit

Christian County Water District commissioners and managers made the contribution when Gov. Andy Beshear was in town for an industrial announcement.

Gov. Andy Beshear came to the Christian County Courthouse on Monday to announce a new industry for Hopkinsville and to hand out some ceremonial checks for several million dollars in grants for rural water and internet projects. 

He didn’t expect to take a check with him when he left to return to Frankfort. But that’s what happened after county water commissioner Ashbel Brunson handed the governor a check for $3,000 to help communities in Eastern Kentucky devastated by flooding. Brunson said the money was a gift from the commissioners and managers of the Christian County Water District. 

Beshear spoke about what he has witnessed in the wake of the flooding and reflected on similar destruction from the outbreak of tornadoes last year in Western Kentucky.

Gov. Andy Beshear shakes hands with Ashbel Brunson, a county water commissioner, as he arrives at the Christian County Courthouse on Monday, Aug. 1. (Photo by Jennifer P. Brown)

“We’ve seen a lot of grace … schools opening and people bringing everything they have to give to other people. I’ve talked to volunteers who don’t have a home anymore because, like the tornadoes, when this water hit, there is nothing there,” he said during the Hopkinsville stop. 

Like the Western Kentucky towns that sustained major damages in the tornadoes, towns in the eastern counties will rebuild, he said.

Tuesday morning, at the conclusion of an update on flood recovery efforts, Beshear mentioned the donation from Christian County.

“Yesterday in Hopkinsville we went with water money, water infrastructure … and a major jobs announcement on the electric vehicle side, which is good for hope. That region deserves it. They’ve been hit hard, too,” he said.

“And one of the groups gave us a check for the Eastern Kentucky relief fund. You could understand if they wanted to save every dollar they could to repair their own region — and they gave us a check for the fund,” he said. “We are full of really special people out there …”

The Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund is one of three major fundraising efforts highlighted in this story about ways to help the flooded communities.

Governor accepts flood relief donation during Hopkinsville visit

Jennifer P. Brown | Hoptown Chronicle

Jennifer P. Brown is co-founder, publisher and editor of Hoptown Chronicle. You can reach her at editor@hoptownchronicle.org. She spent 30 years as a reporter and editor at the Kentucky New Era. She is a co-chair of the national advisory board to the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, governing board president for the Kentucky Historical Society, and co-founder of the Kentucky Open Government Coalition.