Miracle and others in the crowd heaped praise on Dwaine and Cherie Martin, disaster relief leaders from the Kentucky Baptist Convention, who set up a kitchen that has prepared 6,000 meals for folks at shelters in Lincoln, Boyle, Garrard and Mercer counties, some who were stranded in their homes and the many crews working relief efforts.
The Martins, who moved to Stanford from California in 2007, are veterans of the country's recent major disasters, from 9/11 to hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ike. They said Stanford residents and officials pulled together and pitched in as well as anywhere.
"This community has been awesome," Dwaine Martin said.
'Chilled to the bone'
The Martins set up their first kitchen Thursday night outside on Main Street - "Now I know what grandma meant when she said 'chilled to the bone,'" Cherie Martin said - and have since moved to the Willys Overland Garage, where they still are preparing meals for those engaged in clean-up efforts.
The city's fire and police departments got kudos for their tireless work, taking up chain saws to clear streets and power lines, checking door-to-door for people in trouble, delivering meals and whatever else needed to be done.
Stanford Church of the Nazarene, New Beginnings Methodist, Calvary Hill Baptist and Presbyterian churches were thanked for providing shelters, food and comfort.
Radio station WPBK got applause for becoming the de facto information hub for officials and residents alike in the absence of a county emergency operation center.
More than once, Miracle marveled at how officials and residents worked together to ensure everyone's well-being. With no county emergency plan in operation and no one officially coordinating efforts, everyone seemed to act on instinct to get the jobs done.
"There were communication problems where we couldn't get access to places we needed to get to," said Jeremy Blansett of the American Red Cross. "Please take a serious look at creating your own emergency plan in case something like this happens again."
Miracle agreed and promised to gather officials from the city's various departments to create such a plan in the next few weeks.
"We have to formulate a disaster plan," the mayor said.
Though Miracle often bemoaned the lack of organization, many thought he and the city performed quite well in trying circumstances.
"You may think the city doesn't have a plan, but we could serve as a model for other cities," said Jayme Phillips, who works at the radio station. "If certificates are going out, you deserve one yourself because you did a tremendous job."