FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 30, 2014) –President Barack Obama has authorized assistance for Kentucky counties that suffered significant damage as a result of severe storms and flooding this summer.
Strong storms from Aug. 18-23 caused heavy rain and flash flooding, which washed out roads and forced people from their homes throughout the eastern part of the state. Communities in Floyd, Knott, Johnson and Pike counties were the hardest hit.
Obama’s action makes federal funding available to local governments in the counties of Floyd, Knott, Johnson, and Pike. Assistance for individuals and households remains under review.
“Kentucky communities were hit hard by the damage caused by these storms and flash floods, and recovery will be a long process,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “I am grateful that our request has been granted, and I appreciate the swiftness of the White House’s response.”
The Governor requested the federal disaster declaration last week, noting the damage was of such severity and magnitude that effective response was beyond the capabilities of the state and affected local governments.
“Federal assistance is necessary to supplement the efforts and available resources of the state, local governments, disaster relief organizations and compensation by insurance for disaster-related losses,” he wrote.
The Joint Preliminary Damage Assessment conducted by the state and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) indicated the damages exceed $6.2 million for this disaster.
In response to the severe weather, Michael Dossett, director of Kentucky Emergency Management, implemented the State Emergency Operations Plan Aug. 23.
The plan includes the activation of the State Emergency Operations Center to a level IV. The center directs and coordinates the commonwealth’s emergency response and recovery after a weather-related event.
Upon determining the severity of the flooding, Dossett dispatched Recovery Incident Management Teams to the impact area to assist and coordinate with local emergency management directors and elected officials.
This is the first disaster declaration request Kentucky has made since a swath of tornadoes caused heavy destruction in eastern Kentucky in March 2012. It is Kentucky’s 12th federal disaster declaration since 2008.