FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 6, 2012) – Governor Steve Beshear was notified tonight that President Barack Obama has authorized assistance for residents of seven Kentucky counties that suffered significant damage as a result of Friday’s tornadoes and severe storms.
The President’s action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Johnson, Kenton, Laurel, Lawrence, Menifee, Morgan, and Pendleton. Damage surveys are continuing in other areas, and more counties and additional forms of assistance may be designated after the assessments are fully completed.
“Kentucky families were hit hard by the devastation caused by these storms and tornadoes, and recovery will be a long process,” said Gov. Beshear. “I am grateful that our request has been granted, and I appreciate the swiftness of the White House’s response.”
Gov. Beshear declared a statewide emergency on Friday evening, as storms were still rolling across the Commonwealth. He asked President Obama for an expedited declaration on Sunday.
Assistance for individuals can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance tomorrow by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice. Recovery centers will also be set up in affected areas to assist those residents in person.
Deadly storms and tornadoes assaulted Kentucky on Friday, causing 23 deaths and more than 300 injuries. The Governor has deployed nearly 400 National Guard troops to assist with security, traffic control and other needs in affected counties. Local emergency officials and National Guard troops have completed search and rescue efforts in all our affected counties, and local emergency management teams are turning their attention to damage assessments.
Gov. Beshear implemented executive orders to protect consumers from price gouging and to allow residents in affected areas to get emergency refills of prescriptions, excluding controlled substances. He also directed the temporary suspension of restrictions on certain motor carriers and utility vehicles delivering disaster relief supplies.