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Recovery continues after storms, while homeowners hope for FEMA aid

Posted at 6:12 PM, Mar 22, 2021

IRVINE, Ky. (LEX 18) — Gov. Andy Beshear has formally requested a federal disaster declaration to aid dozens of counties in the aftermath of destructive winter storms that rolled through last month.

Over the weekend, most of Kentucky's Congressional Delegation signed a letter to President Joe Biden, urging approval of the governor's request.

The winter storms in February was a nightmare for more than 40 Kentucky counties, leaving behind broken power lines, water system failures, and impassable roads.

"A few days later, we had a flash flood. And the ground was already soaked," said Estill County Judge Executive Donnie Watson.

Miles of Estill County remained underwater for days.

God's Outreach's location in Irvine flooded. The building was destroyed, along with thousands of dollars worth of food.

But the food bank's organizers still found a way to distribute resources to the needy.

"Consequently it brought all the actual putting the food together, and collecting the food, and bringing it in to this facility in Madison County," said Anthony Lowery, co-founder of God's Outreach.

On Monday, Americorps service members were filling up the bags. They've got plenty of experience helping families after disasters. Many of them worked in Louisiana following last year's hurricanes, which was also during a pandemic.

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"We've gotten pretty used to the system of packing bags, and just making sure we keep everything on count so they can have accurate numbers. Just trying to get as much done in as little of time as possible," said Zachary Guiod.

Even as the need increases due to the storms, the food will be distributed.

But Estill County, along with dozens of other counties, is waiting for more assistance from FEMA to help rebuild.