Governor Steve Beshear's Communications Office
Gov. Beshear Declares State of Emergency to Allow Resources to Local Communities
FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 14, 2015) - Governor Steve Beshear has declared a state of emergency to allow local officials immediate access to state resources to assist in public safety and recovery efforts after severe storms swept through Kentucky Monday, causing widespread damage. Another severe storm is expected to hit the state later today.
"The declaration is a part of the process to identify what assistance is needed in these counties because of the storms," Gov. Beshear said. "We will work with our local and federal partners to measure damage and make sure each community has access to appropriate resources."
According to the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management (KYEM), numerous counties were impacted by Monday's storms that caused flash flooding. Areas reported with the heaviest damage include Johnson and Rowan counties. In Johnson County, one fatality was reported, and state and local rescue workers there continue to search for others who are missing or unaccounted for. In Rowan County, homes were also damaged by floods, and minor injuries were reported.
The Kentucky National Guard, KYEM and Red Cross officials are on the ground in Johnson County and will continue to monitor areas statewide for further reports of damage. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet on Monday waived certain highway restrictions for out-of-state utility vehicles traveling nationally to areas with widespread power outages. Shelters are in place in Rowan, Johnson and Jefferson counties.
The Governor has instructed KYEM to continue conversations with FEMA officials to ensure Kentucky has every form of assistance necessary to recover from these storms.
With the threat of more severe weather throughout the Commonwealth today and tonight, Gov. Beshear is asking Kentuckians to monitor the weather and exercise caution. Gov. Beshear and state officials remind drivers that it is important to check travel routes in affected counties prior to getting on the road. Many roads are covered in water, and some have washed out entirely.
The Commonwealth Emergency Operations Center (CEOC), located in Frankfort, remains on alert with staffing from KYEM and the National Guard monitoring the situation, fielding calls and responding to requests for assistance. Officials there are in constant contact with Gov. Beshear and his office.
Weather safety tips can be found on the Kentucky Emergency Management (KYEM) website at www.kyem.ky.gov