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Magoffin County Struggles To Rise After Damaging Floods

Posted at 5:00 PM, Mar 18, 2019

MAGOFFIN COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — Magoffin County is facing millions of dollars worth of damages from recent flooding after heavy rains inundated the area last month.

And while the county has met the criteria to get assistance from the federal government, the story is much different for private property owners, who are unlikely to get help.

Three weeks later and with $3 million in estimated damage, Magoffin County can’t catch a break.

“It’s been a constant barrage of rain,” said Magoffin County Judge-Executive Matthew Wireman. “It’s like we live in the Amazon rain forest.”

Wireman says several bridges and culverts were washed away and the damage continues to affect many people in the county.

“We have a lot of folks that have one way in and one way out across the stream,” Wireman said, “and their primary way has been washed out. They don’t have the money to fix it.”

This is where he hopes FEMA can help. But a federal disaster hasn’t been declared as yet.

“I have a friend, she works up here at the store and it washed up behind her house,” said resident Todd Plummer. “She had big hopes to getting help, but FEMA won’t do anything.”

And those who live on private property, for now, they’re left to fend for themselves. They didn’t reach the criteria for FEMA to provide individual assistance, and Wireman can’t touch their property using county money.

“There is volunteer assistance, there is Red Cross, there is those kind of things,” said Wireman. “When it comes to coming in and doing a remodel and getting all the stuff fixed up like it should be, they don’t meet that criteria.”

He said he’s working on a separate FEMA application to get private roads covered by county assets for emergency purposes.