Local businesses donate water to tornado victims

Published 4:45 pm Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Many Kentucky and east Tennessee businesses have taken part in assisting the victims of the devastating tornado that ripped through five states including Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Tennessee, and Kentucky. The deadliest tornado ever recorded in the month of December produced catastrophic damage to the towns of western Kentucky with the cities of Mayfield and Bowling Green receiving devastating loss of buildings and homes.

Doing their part to help with the many residents who lost everything, and the towns with much of their infrastructure gone, the Murphy Mill Bottling Company of Tazewell, Tennessee, supplier of Cumberland Gap Water to the Coca Cola Bottling in Middlesboro, recently donated 27 pallets of bottled water to the victims left without a clean water source.

Many government agencies throughout the state began setting up temporary structures in order to provide meals for those left homeless.

After learning of this, Harlan County businessman and co-owner of Murphy Mill Bottling Company, Rayburn Doss, began organizing an effort to provide water to go alongside the meals.

The local businesses began coordinating a plan to store the water near the Mayfield-Graves County Fairground, the bottling company then sought the help of Woodford Oil located in northern Kentucky to transport the water to the cities in need.

The planning and preparation of the businesses created much needed drinking water to the hard-hit area. Patrick Forester of the Coca Cola Bottling Company stressed that securing a place to house donated items was of the utmost importance due to limited space availability.

Much planning and communication was needed to ensure that the large delivery would, indeed, have a place to be stored.
Several towns in western Kentucky, sustained water tower damage with the city of Mayfield losing their water tower entirely. Officials have warned the residents that it would be “a long time” before safe drinking water is restored.

Harlan Enterprise contributor Darla Jackson wrote this story.