FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — Governor Andy Beshear is requesting President Joe Biden to issue a "Major Disaster Declaration" following recent flooding in the state.
The flooding, which took place earlier this year, is considered some of the worst flooding Kentucky has ever faced. Heavy rainfall led to flash flooding, mudslides, and landslides across the commonwealth.
"This flooding was some of the worst in my lifetime, damaging about 2,000 homes and destroying infrastructure, including some of our roadways, and we are asking the president to declare a disaster to provide both individual and public assistance that is needed to help our people and our communities rebuild," said Gov. Beshear. "This flooding, just days after harsh winter storms left tens of thousands without power, was the latest in a line of devastating setbacks, but our people are strong, we are resilient and we will build back."
From Feb. 26 to March 1, Kentucky experienced more than seven inches of rain in four Southcentral and Southeastern Kentucky counties. Flooding occurred on the Green, Kentucky, Licking, Ohio, Red, and Mississippi rivers.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has conducted joint damage assessments and validated more than 2,000 impacted homes in the counties of Breathitt, Clay, Estill, Floyd, Johnson, Lee, Magoffin, Martin, and Powell. Governor Beshear is requesting these counties receive Individuals and Households Assistance from FEMA.
More than 44 counties have reported more than 1,200 instances of damage to infrastructure, debris removal, and emergency measures totaling over $49 million. Kentucky, to date, has requested FEMA joint assessments in 36 counties. The governor's office says of March 30, 2021, FEMA has verified in excess of $30 million in Public Assistance damages. The state threshold for requesting a declaration is $6.7 million.
Gov. Beshear issued a State of Emergency Order on Feb. 28, 2021. The governor requested the disaster declaration approximately one week after President Biden approved a request for a major disaster declaration for severe winter storms that impacted Kentucky from Feb. 8 through Feb. 19, 2021.
Residents with questions or additional reports of flood damage should contact their local county emergency management agency.