FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Gov. Andy Beshear and other state officials will be travelling to Beattyville on Friday to view the damage and check with local officials on what they need to recover from the recent ice storm and ongoing flooding.
“You’re not forgotten,” said Rocky Adkins, the Governor’s Senior Advisor. “We’re here every step of the way to try to bring relief to this devastation that’s happened to you and your communities, to your homes, to your personal property; and to try to do everything we can to help with that recovery as we move forward.”
He said they plan to seek a federal disaster declaration to aid businesses and individuals, once they are able to accurately assess the damage. “I’ve seen some things on Facebook that say we haven’t asked for a federal declaration. I can tell you we are going to but here’s the process. We have to gather the documentation of the amount of damage. When we get that, we send that in to support and back-up, to make sure we are able to get the declaration so we can get the help from FEMA that we need.”
Adkins says Kentucky will ask for two declarations. “One will be for the ice storm that happened ten days ago, and the other one will be for the flooding that has been taking place throughout Kentucky.”
He had some advice for those who have suffered losses, that will aid in the relief process. “Document everything. Take pictures. Make sure that is what we need as part of our information that is sent to Washington, DC, to ask for that declaration.”
Adkins said the same applies to local government officials, to document everything and take pictures of the damage, so Kentucky gets as much aid as we can.
He noted Gov. Beshear was in western Kentucky to see the damage on Tuesday, and will head out again on Friday. “We will be flying the region of eastern Kentucky. The Governor, myself, and others of his executive staff to view the devastation. We will be touching down in Lee County, in Beattyville, to meet with all of the county judges, mayors and emergency management personnel, so they can talk to the Governor face-to-face. This will help us understand even more what we can do to help.”
Adkins said the application process doesn’t happen overnight. “It is about a 20 to 30 day process to be able to gather all the damage information and document it in our supplication, to be able to send it in and make sure we get the declaration we are looking for, so we can bring that money back through FEMA to help with the repair of roads, culverts, bridges, personal property and all of those things that we are going to fight hard for.”
He concluded, “Folks, my heart hurts to see our people suffer, and I know the Governor’s heart hurts to see our people suffer. But I can assure you, that you’ve not been forgotten. We are working hard every day and we have our eyes open trying to make sure we are concentrating on the needs of the people of Kentucky, especially those who are suffering so much right now.”
Kentucky Emergency Management Director Michael Dossett called this one of the most prolific flooding events Kentucky has seen in many years. “He have 64 local declarations of emergency to date, including counties and cities. We have 61 Kentucky National Guard troops on the ground in eight counties, doing what they’ve been doing all week, and they’ll be doing through the weekend and possibly into next week. We also have Kentucky Transportation Cabinet folks out with heavy equipment trying to assist where needed to clear these roads to make it safe for our citizens.”
Dossett said FEMA will arrive in Kentucky on Monday. “We are bringing their assessment team in, first to finalize the ice storm damage to our utilities and RECC groups. Second, and most importantly, to look at home damage, to look at what we need to document individual assistance for the Governor’s application to go up to the President.”