LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Gov. Andy Beshear is pointing to signs of progress as federal emergency personnel respond to requests for assistance in flood-ravaged eastern Kentucky.
The governor says it’s “still not enough” as people work to recover from the disaster that swept away homes and inundated communities.
A week ago, Beshear berated the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s response.
Beshear was more upbeat Thursday in assessing FEMA’s response, while stressing that the state is closely monitoring the agency’s handling of relief requests.
He says FEMA has approved more than $40 million in grants for 5,267 households under its Individuals and Households Program.
About half the total requests for the assistance have been approved so far, up from the “30-something percent” figure he saw initially, he said.
“Still not enough, but it is progress," Beshear said at a news conference. "And when our federal partners, even if we’re frustrated sometimes, are making real progress, we want to say thank you, while also continuing to push FEMA to help out our families.”
Of more than 10,000 applications for the assistance, 1,502 are deemed ineligible at this point, FEMA said Thursday.
A denial of assistance isn't “necessarily the end of the road” in seeking relief, FEMA has said.
Beshear on Thursday urged people in those situations to “keep pushing" and to meet with FEMA officials “eye to eye” to do a thorough review. The agency also is texting people who haven’t responded to calls as another means to reach out, the governor said.
Kentucky leaders, meanwhile, are crafting a state relief package for the flood-stricken region. Beshear said he's “getting closer” to calling a special legislative session to take up the legislation.