NewsRegion St Lucie County

Actions

St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office collecting supplies to bring to tornado-ravaged Logan County, Kentucky

Sheriff's office 'adopting' Logan County to help its residents start to rebuild
Posted at 10:51 PM, Dec 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-15 08:14:31-05

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — The St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office is asking for your help to pack up to two semi-trucks with supplies to deliver to a small community in Kentucky.

The state was one of multiple hit with deadly tornadoes over the weekend, also destroying hundreds of homes.

The sheriff's office is "adopting" Logan County in Kentucky to help its residents start to rebuild.

Floridians know well the destructive powers of Mother Nature.

So, when tornadoes ripped through Kentucky, St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara and Chief Deputy Brian Hester said they felt compelled to help.

St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office.PNG

"It was just a natural feeling that we have to do something because we were in that position many times with hurricanes, and strangers stepped up to help us," Mascara said.

In Logan County, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Polly Steenbergen said they were hit with an EF-3 tornado. The county has about 26,000 residents.

"Something that I do not want to experience again and I'm sure our community members would agree," Steenbergen said.

Polly from kentucky.PNG
Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Polly Steenbergen

She said her husband is a volunteer firefighter, and they heard his alert go off before the storm. They grabbed their 2-year-old and took cover in an interior bathroom.

She said the tornado passed in a few minutes. Then torrential storms followed.

RELATED: WPTV, American Red Cross partner to help tornado victims

"It was very alarming," Steenbergen said. "The tornado actually hit about 2 miles from my home."

She believes it could take six months to a year to rebuild their community. They are grateful no one in their county was killed. Their downtown areas were mostly spared.

"Our rural areas of the county were extremely affected with the tornadoes," Steenbergen said. "[The tornado] affected 99 homes substantially. Of those 99 homes, 40 were complete losses, so the homes are not salvageable whatsoever. So that has displaced 40 families."

Other homes that are salvageable still aren't livable because of significant roof damage.

Kentucky tornado.PNG

Steenbergen said most of the help their county has received has been from within the community.

RELATED: Death toll from Friday's tornadoes in South, Midwest surpasses 80

"In our area specifically, I'd say that we're helping our own," Steenbergen said. "We haven't seen a lot of outside help come here."

That is why Hester said they decided to help Logan County.

"This was one of the more rural towns that wasn't as well known, that really hadn't had as many supplies, so our goal is to fill these semis as quick as we can," Hester said.

semi-truck.PNG

The sheriff's office has two semi-trucks they are planning to take there Monday.

"It's so heartwarming to know that others see the devastation that has happened right here and they're willing to help," Steenbergen said.

You can drop donations off at the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office located at 4700 W Midway Road, Fort Pierce, on Dec. 14-17 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Dec. 18 and 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Dec. 20 from 8 a.m. to noon.

You can also donate online, by clicking here.

Steenbergen said their families mainly need monetary donations to help people who are displaced get into hotels, rental properties and pay for repairs.

You can also donate the following items requested from Logan County leaders:

  • Monetary Donations
  • Toiletries
  • Local Restaurant Gift Cards
  • Water
  • Totes
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Diapers
  • Walmart Gift Cards
  • Lowes Gift Cards
  • Home Depot Gift Cards
  • Gas Gift Cards
  • Household Items
  • Dry Goods

The St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office also provided a list with additional needed items:

  • Plastic Tote Bins
  • Cleaning products
  • Batteries
  • Heaters
  • OTC Medications
  • Phone Chargers