WASHINGTON (LEX 18) — Rounds of snow and ice in February caused millions of dollars in damage in dozens of Kentucky counties.
On Friday, March 19, Governor Andy Beshear sent a requestto President Joe Biden for a federal Major Disaster Declaration due to the system that hit Kentucky from Feb. 8-Feb. 19, 2021.
Beshear's office reports that more than 150,000 homes lost power, and the weather caused water system failures, mudslides, and disruption of critical services.
On Sunday, we learned that Kentucky's Congressional Delegation has sent a joint letter to President Biden in support of the declaration, which includes help for more than 40 counties.
The letter reads in part: "The arctic temperatures combined with the damaging ice and snow caused dangerous road conditions, significant vegetative debris, power outages for more than 152,000 people, and interruption of water systems resulted in severe impacts to transportation, infrastructure, and property. On February 11, 2021, Governor Beshear issued a State of Emergency for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, but additional assistance is necessary at this time."
The lawmakers write that six Kentuckians died due to the weather and road conditions during the February winter storms.
The letter continues: "Access to this critical federal assistance will help expedite the disaster relief efforts occurring across the Commonwealth. A delayed federal response will be detrimental to our small rural communities, as well as the health and well-being of residents who have been displaced and impacted by prolonged water outages."
The letter is signed by Sen. Mitch McConnell and all six of Kentucky's US Representatives, including Rep. Andy Barr, Rep. James Comer, Rep. Brett Guthrie, Rep. John Yarmuth, Rep. Thomas Massie, and Rep. Hal Rogers.
Beshear's declaration does not include the flooding that happened weeks after the ice storms. Currently, FEMA and KY Emergency Management teams are reviewing Individual Assistance reports.
Beshear's office says assessment teams will be working in 27 impact counties to look over damage.
The governor's office says that residents with questions or additional reports of flood damage should contact their local county emergency management agency.
For clean-up assistance, Kentuckians can contact the Kentucky Floods Cleanup Hotline at 800-451-1954 through Friday, March 26, 2021.