Governor Steve Beshear's Communications Office
Governor Beshear declares State of Emergency due to flooding

Press Release Date:  Sunday, July 18, 2010  
Contact Information:  Kerri Richardson
Jill Midkiff
502-564-2611
 


Two confirmed fatalities

FRANKFORT, Ky.—In light of devastating flash floods, Governor Steve Beshear today activated the Commonwealth Emergency Operations Center and declared a State of Emergency for Pike and Shelby counties to allow necessary assistance to quickly get to those in need.  The flooding has caused the loss and damage of property, significant impact to county infrastructure and two confirmed fatalities.

“I was very saddened to hear of the deaths and devastation caused by this weekend’s severe flooding,” said Gov. Beshear.  “My administration is committed to assisting impacted Kentuckians through this disaster, and this order will help us supply whatever resources are necessary.”

Hardest hit areas in Pike County include Raccoon Creek, Chole Creek, Marrowbone Creek, Red Creek, Pompey Creek and John’s Creek.  Along Harless Creek, five people were reported missing but later found safe.  A mobile home park along Raccoon Creek has reported several homes damaged or destroyed, and damage assessments will be ongoing throughout the day.  Much of the county’s water system received damage, and it may be several days before water is restored.  Shelby County officials have declared a state of emergency and the County’s damage includes downed trees and power outages.

The Response

The Commonwealth Emergency Operation Center (CEOC), located in Frankfort at Boone National Guard Center and staffed by Kentucky Division of Emergency Management (KyEM), remains activated at Level II in support of the situation.

Pike County officials have declared a local State of Emergency, as rescue workers evacuated residents along creeks and water drainages.  As water recedes, search crews are conducting door-to-door wellness checks within the impacted areas. Shelters have been opened at Pike County Central High School, Cedar Bottom Church and Pikeville Methodist Church, and a special medical needs shelter is open at the East Kentucky Expo Center.

The State of Emergency

The declaration issued today by Gov. Beshear does the following:

  • Orders KyEM to execute the Kentucky Emergency Operations Plan and coordinate the response and relief activities.
     
  • Authorizes the Adjutant General to mobilize National Guard personnel and equipment as is determined necessary.
     
  • Orders state agencies to coordinate any and all public information and related activities and releases with the KyEM.
     
  • Orders state agencies to provide necessary staff to the CEOC.
     
  • Directs the Finance and Administration Cabinet to fund the costs incurred in response to this emergency.
     
  • Authorizes KyEM to request necessary federal assistance.
     
  • Orders KyEM to work with the American National Red Cross and local officials to determine the need for emergency shelters.
     
  • Notes that public roadways may be restricted or prohibited if necessary to protect public health and safety.
     
  • Orders the Kentucky Community Crisis Response Board (KCCRB) to activate their network of trained counselors.

Information for Impacted Kentuckians

Kentuckians are encouraged to monitor river and streams crests for their areas, and heed warnings or evacuation orders from local officials. Do not drive through or wade through any water, no matter if just a few inches.  STOP, TURN AROUND – DON’T DROWN!

Do not attempt to enter flooded structures unless a certified electrician has shut the power off.

For additional information and safety tips, please visit KyEM’s web site at www.kyem.ky.gov.

Be aware of toxic or hazardous wastes associated with flood waters.  For additional information on health safety tips and flood water clean-up, please visit the Department for Public Health’s website at www.chfs.ky.gov/dph/.

For statewide road conditions please visit www.511.ky.gov.

For local information and/or shelter locations, please contact your local emergency management office. Follow this link for assistance: http://www.kyem.ky.gov/about/countyemdirectors.htm.

For river levels and expected crests, visit http://water.weather.gov/ahps/ and click on the area you wish to observe.

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View a copy of the executive order (PDF)