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'I'm very disappointed': Flood victim shares thoughts on FEMA aid denial

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Posted at 5:05 PM, Sep 17, 2021

CARLISLE, Ky. (LEX 18) — Flood damage from July’s storm literally destroyed his home and valuables. Figuratively, the lack of federal assistance being offered has made David Foster feel as if those items and his memories are worthless.

“FEMA hasn’t helped and I’m very disappointed with them,” he said while walking through what’s left of his home in Carlisle.

“We had a meeting down here and they talked like they might pay $35,000. That’s what everybody thought they were going to get,” he explained.

As of this writing, everybody is going to get nothing. Not a dime. FEMA denied all claims as part of Governor Andy Beshear’s federal disaster declaration following the flood on July 29, which destroyed 88 homes and 29 businesses. The size and scope of the damage wasn’t big enough to qualify for federal assistance.

Mr. Foster’s home remains uninhabitable and he won’t attempt to rebuild on this piece of land near the Brushy Fork Creek.

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“Shame on you the first time, shame on me the second,” he said of his unwillingness to rebuild here.

Currently, Foster and his wife are living in a camper they’ve borrowed while trying to piece together enough money to move elsewhere.

“I’ve got to build another house while trying to pay for this house, so it’s going to be tough,” he said.

Insurance companies are walking away from this disaster too because none of these homeowners carried a policy containing flood insurance as this area isn’t a designated flood zone.

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“They did cover the loss of the cars, but not the property,” he said of his Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance policy.

U.S. Congressman Andy Barr, whose 6th district includes Carlisle, has joined Governor Beshear in sending a letter of appeal over the FEMA decision to President Biden. Until then, the owners of 88 homes and their families will be on their own.

“This wasn’t just a house, it was our home. It wasn’t much but it’s what we had,” Foster said.

No amount of FEMA money can ever replace that loss.