FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 11, 2010) - President Barack Obama issued a federal disaster declaration for Kentucky today after floods heavily damaged more than two-thirds of the state’s counties.
“I appreciate President Obama’s timely response and declaration of a federal disaster for Kentucky in response to the severe flooding that heavily damaged more than two-thirds of our counties,” said Governor Steve Beshear. “The declaration allows for assistance for individuals and local governments – aid that will help our families and businesses recover more quickly from these devastating floods.”
The Kentucky Division of Emergency Management (KyEM) estimates more than $30 million in damage to public and private property from floods that struck Kentucky on May 1.
As of this afternoon, the federal government has designated Individual Assistance (aid for individuals and households) for eight counties: Casey, Lewis, Lincoln, Logan, Metcalfe, Rockcastle, Rowan and Woodford.
To date, Public Assistance (aid for state and local governments and certain private nonprofit agencies) is approved for seven counties: Allen, Hart, Lewis, Logan, Metcalfe, Monroe and Rockcastle.
A team from the Small Business Administration is in Kentucky now; the disaster declaration means that businesses may begin submitting applications for loans to assist in the recovery. Those registrations will be coordinated by the small business assessment teams at the county level.
Damage surveys are continuing in counties across the state and additional counties may be designated for assistance after the assessments are fully completed.
Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance tomorrow by registering online at http://www.DisasterAssistance.gov <http://www.disasterassistance.gov/> or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time).
All residents and business owners who received damages from the flood are strongly encouraged to photograph the damage, save any repair receipts and report damage to their local emergency management director.
“I will continue to work toward getting all affected counties their designations for proper federal assistance,” continued Gov. Beshear. “Our damage assessment teams remain in the counties affected by flooding. Many across the Commonwealth will need assistance rebuilding, and the federal aid will help our communities recover as quickly as possible.”
Damage Assessments Continue
So far, 81 counties and 38 cities have declared states of emergency. Of the 81 counties, 59 have submitted initial damage assessments to KyEM, and emergency officials expect the remaining counties will complete their initial assessments by this Friday.
Over the weekend, assessment teams visited 788 homes; of those, 374 had major damage and 73 were destroyed. Teams continued assessments today in five counties; visits are scheduled through Friday in 11 additional counties.
Body of Pulaski Co. Kayaker Recovered
Late Friday afternoon, Pulaski County officials recovered the body of the missing 18 year old whose kayak capsized while on Lake Cumberland last week.
Four people have been killed as a direct result of the storms, and two others have died while kayaking in the floodwaters.
For additional disaster recovery information, including FEMA assistance programs, visit the KyEM website at www.kyem.ky.gov .