Man sets up BBQ in the middle of Kentucky town devastated by tornado

‘I just figured I would do what I could do, show up with some food and some water,’ Jim Finch says

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Monday 13 December 2021 19:36 GMT
Related video: Satellite imagery shows before and after of the Mayfield candle factory after tornado

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Kentucky resident Jim Finch drove to Mayfield, one of the hardest-hit areas after a string of deadly tornadoes struck six states over the weekend, to set up his grill and hand out food to those affected by the extreme weather.

A video of Mr Finch by reporter Victor Ordoñez posted on Twitter had reach more than 3.4m views by afternoon on Wednesday.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said on Monday that at least 64 people have died in the state, but he added that “undoubtedly, there will be more”.

Mr Ordoñez tweeted that Mr Finch “drove half an hour with a grill and a truckload of food and parked right in the middle of Mayfield, Kentucky”.

“I know they don’t have any electricity, so that means they don’t have any restaurants, no running water so I just figured I would do what I could do, show up with some food and some water,” Mr Finch said.

“Jim wore a smile the whole morning, we laugh when I asked if he had a restaurant,” Mr Ordoñez added. “He shook his head, ‘it just needed to be done,’ he said.”

“We’re trying to feed the people. We got hamburgers, chicken, I got sausage, eggs,” Mr Finch said. “Just real simple stuff you can have and not worry about making a mess, grab and go type of food.”

Twitter users praised Mr Finch for his efforts.

“This is likely to be one of the largest tornado outbreaks in our history,” President Joe Biden said on Saturday.

“They lost their homes. They lost their businesses. It’s a tragedy and we still don’t know how many lives were lost or the full extent of the damage,” he added. “But I want to emphasize what I told all the governors, the federal government will do everything, everything it can possibly do to help.”

“I want folks in all these states to know – We’re going to get through this. We’re going to get through this together. And the federal government is not going to walk away,” the president said, urging the country to unite.

“This is one of those times when we aren’t Democrats or Republicans. Sounds like hyperbole, but it’s real. We’re all Americans. We stand together as the United States of America,” he added. “And so, I say to all the victims, you’re in our prayers, and all those first responders, emergency personnel, and everyone helping their fellow Americans – this is the right thing to do at the right time, and we’re going to get through this.”

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