MOUNT VERNON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Nearly four months since historic flooding caused millions of dollars worth of damage and displaced thousands of Kentuckians, many are still struggling to bounce back.
Paulina Jackson was home with her kids when the floodwaters started rising and they were forced to evacuate in a canoe.
“So we’re going to high ground and we’re literally just watching everything go underwater. I mean, there was nothing you could do,” Jackson said.
Leaving was hard, but returning was harder.
“I knew it was gonna be bad, but you just can’t imagine how devastating water can be,” Jackson said. “Everything’s destroyed. I mean your washer, your dryer, your stove, refrigerator, water heater. You have nothing and you’re just so devastated that I just sat there and cried.”
Jackson is among thousands of flood victims still fighting to recover.
The Christian Appalachian Project (CAP) is working to make recovery easier for people like Jackson. Volunteers with the non-profit were in Mount Vernon on Thursday handing out donations of furniture, cleaning supplies, and other essentials to flood survivors from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“CAP is here basically to help the families put their lives back together,” said Disaster Relief Director Robyn Renner.
In April, the Federal Emergency Management Agency stepped in to offer assistance to flood victims after President Joe Biden approved a major disaster declaration in the region.
FEMA has extended the deadline for Kentuckians in 31 counties impacted by the severe storms to register for aid under the Individual Assistance Program.
The new deadline to register is now July 8.
FEMA agents were set up at the CAP donation site on Thursday helping people register for disaster relief.
So far, 3,043 Kentuckians have registered for FEMA assistance due to the severe storms between Feb. 28 and March 14.
FEMA has provided more than $26 million in Kentucky, including more than $4 million in Individual Assistance. The agency’s National Flood Insurance Program has also paid $18.9 million in flood insurance claims. 630 claims have been submitted.
Individuals have several options to register for FEMA assistance:
- Online at DisasterAssistance.gov
- Downloading the FEMA app
- Calling 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585). Multilingual operators are available seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. local time (press 2 for Spanish).
FEMA agents are also available to help in-person at the following locations:
Open Wednesday to Friday, June 16-18: Clay County Community Center: 311 Highway 638, Manchester, KY 40962
Open Thursday to Saturday, June 17-19: Floyd County Community Center: 7199 Kentucky Highway 80, Langley, KY 41645
Open Thursday to Saturday, June 17-19: Lee County Community Center: 500 Happy Top Road, Beattyville, KY 41311