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Gov. Beshear Warns of New Flash Flood Watch for
Eastern Kentucky Today
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 9, 2022) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced a flash flood watch will be in effect from noon today through 8 p.m. Wednesday across Central and Eastern Kentucky.
“The weather for the next couple of days is a real concern. We still have many of our search and rescue teams onsite in the Eastern Kentucky area waiting to get through this weather event that began at noon today and could carry through 8 p.m. tomorrow night,” said Gov. Beshear. “To the people of Eastern Kentucky, please be careful through the next couple of days.”
Slow-moving showers and thunderstorms will produce heavy rainfall, which may lead to flash flooding. A cold front will move toward Eastern Kentucky through Wednesday. This will favor storms with torrential downpours, possibly moving repeatedly over the same locations. Isolated to scattered ﬂash ﬂooding is possible.
The Governor also updated Kentuckians on President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden’s visit to Eastern Kentucky yesterday and new Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance. He also reported one new death related to flooding.
“Our challenges are how to move from emergency mode to stabilization mode,” the Governor said. “How do we get people in a safe spot where they can stretch out a little bit, whether that’s a room in one of our lodges in the state parks or a travel trailer? How do we address transportation needs that are out there? And how do we continue to push FEMA to say yes instead of no and help as many of these folks as possible?”
President Biden and First Lady Visit Eastern Kentucky
President Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden visited Breathitt County on Monday. They joined a briefing on flooding at Marie Roberts Elementary School in Lost Creek, met with volunteers and toured a nearby neighborhood with major flood damage.
“This is going to be different. We are going to come back better than before. Not come back to what we were before, but better than we were before. I am confident with the Governor’s leadership that we can do it. We have the wherewithal to do it with the bipartisan legislation we have passed,” President Biden said. “We never give up, we never stop. We just go forward and that’s what we are going to do here.”
The Governor thanked President Biden for amending Kentucky’s Disaster Declaration to increase the federal share of debris removal costs and emergency protective measures to 100% for a 30-day period of the commonwealth’s choosing within the first 120 days of the declaration. To learn more, see the full release.
The Governor said there are 37 confirmed fatalities in five counties: eight in Breathitt; two in Clay; 17 in Knott (13 adults and four children); three in Letcher; and seven in Perry.
The total number of fatalities will rise to 38 after the loss of a Knott County High School student who died after assisting with clean-up efforts in the area.
Kentucky State Police (KSP) reports there are two missing persons from Breathitt County they are still searching for after the Eastern Kentucky flooding:
- Vanessa Baker, a 60-year-old woman from the Lost Creek Community, is described as a white, 5-feet-7-inches tall, weighing approximately 215 pounds and having dark-colored hair. Her last known location was at her residence in the area of Lower River Caney Road.
- Nancy Cundiff, a 29-year-old woman from the Lost Creek Community, is described as a white, 5-feet-1-inch tall, weighing approximately 280 pounds and having dark-colored hair. Her last known location was at her residence in the area of Lower River Caney Road.
- Anyone with information about either woman is asked to contact Post 13 in Hazard at 606-435-6069.
FEMA Programs and Updates
- Twelve counties have been declared for Individual Assistance (IA): Breathitt, Clay, Floyd, Knott, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, Owsley, Perry, Pike and Whitley counties. To learn more, see the full release.
- Four counties – Breathitt, Knott, Letcher and Perry – are eligible for Direct Temporary Housing Assistance, which includes Direct Lease, Multi-Family Lease and Repair and Transportable Temporary Housing Units.
- Survivors in all IA-designated counties may apply for $500 in Critical Needs Assistance. This assistance may be used for lifesaving and life-sustaining items including, but not limited to: water, food, first aid, prescriptions, infant formula, diapers, consumable media supplies, durable medical equipment, personal hygiene items and fuel for transportation. (To date, 2,100 applicants have received the assistance, totaling $1,050,000.)
- The Clean and Sanitize Program provides $300 per applicant in all IA-designated counties.
- The fastest way to apply for all of these programs is through DisasterAssistance.gov. Kentuckians can also apply through the FEMA mobile app or by calling 800-621-3362.
- Kentuckians can also visit the FEMA Mobile Registration Centers traveling through the affected counties or one of the Disaster Recovery Centers in impacted counties. To find lists of locations, visit governor.ky.gov/floodresources.
There are still numerous cooling stations open in the affected areas. Visit governor.ky.gov/floodresources for more information.
Emergency Shelters – 197 survivors
Kentucky State Parks – 315 people housed
- Jenny Wiley State Park: 182 people
- Paintsville State Park: Four people
- Pine Mountain State Park: Three people
- Buckhorn Lake State Park: 126 people
Travel Trailers – 77 total:
- 30 travel trailers onsite at Mine Made Campground in Knott County; 12 are ready for occupancy: three occupied.
- 25 travel trailers onsite at Jenny Wiley State Park; 16 are ready for occupancy; 10 occupied.
- 18 travel trailers onsite at Carr Creek in Knott County; 11 are ready for occupancy; three occupied
- 4 travel trailers onsite at Crockettsville Campground in Owsley County; 0 are ready for occupancy; 0 occupied
Kentucky National Guard
- 190 service members currently on mission;
- 37,974 cases of water distributed; and
- 37,514 meals distributed.
- Debris assessment will be conducted in affected areas through tomorrow;
- A process is in the works to identify and remove vehicles from rights-of-way; and
- 20 crews doing debris removal in the following counties: Letcher (2), Breathitt (6), Knott (6) and Perry (6).
Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund
- Total number of donations: 29,837
- Donated amount: $4,667,623
- Distribution update: A total of 29 funeral payments have gone out totaling $290,000.
- The Governor asked Kentuckians not to donate clothing. These donations are overcrowding much-needed storage space. He said to please focus on monetary donations through trusted funds.
To donate online, visit TeamEKYFloodReliefFund.ky.gov.
The majority of power has been restored in the flood-impacted areas.
- 6,620 service connections without water, 969 connections restored in last 24 hours;
- 30,857 service connections under Boil Water Advisory; and
- Eight water systems under limited operations due to storm damage to distribution centers.
- Five wastewater systems not operational; and
- Eight wastewater systems under limited operation.
Food and Prescription Assistance
The Department for Community Based Services issued 400 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) replacements, bringing the total for food replacements to 2,093.
The federal Emergency Prescription Assistance Program has been activated to help uninsured Kentucky residents obtain certain prescription drug medications or durable medical equipment that was lost or damaged in the recent flooding. Under the program, Kentuckians with addresses in identified zip codes may request a 30-day supply of covered medications in the program. There is no charge to people who qualify for the assistance.
Visit governor.ky.gov/floodresources for more information.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is working to rapidly replace the first batch of closed bridges that were destroyed or heavily damaged at 11 sites in Knott, Letcher, Perry and Pike counties. These are mostly in locations where the loss of the bridge left people with no motor-vehicle access to their homes. The cabinet is using existing and emergency contracts so the work can be completed as quickly as possible. The first step will be to construct temporary crossings with large drainpipes and hard-packed roadbeds while survey and design teams begin work on steel and concrete structures.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance
The Governor thanked the Louisiana Workforce Commission and Gov. John Bel Edwards for letting Kentucky borrow their mobile workforce center. The mobile unit is currently at Jenny Wiley State Park from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today through Wednesday. Additional locations for the mobile unit will be announced soon.
Residents in Breathitt, Clay, Floyd, Knott, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, Owsley, Perry, Pike and Whitley counties are now eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) benefits and can file an application online through the Kentucky Career Center website (kcc.ky.gov) or by phone at 502-875-0442.
The application deadline for all claimants has been extended until Sept. 6, 2022. To learn more, see the full release.
Disaster Recovery Center Resources
For a full list of Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs), locations that provide both state and federal resources in one place to best serve flood victims, visit governor.ky.gov/floodresources.
Unless otherwise noted, DRCs are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays.
Today, Department of Revenue staff will be at the DRCs in Knott and Perry counties to answer questions from residents about their eligibility for sales tax refunds on the purchase of building materials permanently installed in the repair or replacement of structures damaged by flooding. Revenue staff also will provide information on income tax relief available to individuals and businesses included in the federal disaster declarations, as well as assistance on how to replace lost tax returns. Revenue staff will be at the DRCs in Breathitt and Letcher counties beginning Aug. 10 and in Clay County on Aug. 11.
The Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction will have staff at the opening day of each DRC to address permitting and inspection questions. They will also have publications available from the Department of Insurance in the event people have insurance questions. Additionally, each region’s local building inspector will touch base with the disaster resource center staff during the day to address specific permitting and inspection needs.
Residents of Knott and Perry counties can receive in-person help with DUA applications at the following DRC locations from the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Knott County Sportsplex, 450 Kenny Champion Loop #8765, Leburn, KY 41831
- Perry County: Hazard Community and Technical College, 1 Community College Drive, Hazard, KY 41701
U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced yesterday that Leslie, Magoffin, Martin and Whitley counties are now included as primary counties in the disaster declaration in Eastern Kentucky for the severe storms and flooding.
Physical disaster loans are now available to businesses and residents of those counties.
The disaster declaration covers Breathitt, Clay, Floyd, Knott, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, Owsley, Perry, Pike and Whitley counties, which are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA. Small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations in the following adjacent counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans. For more information visit the SBA website.
Complete List of Executive Actions
To see a full list of the Governor’s executive actions in response to Eastern Kentucky flooding, click here.