Lieutenant Governor Abramson's Communications Office
Gov. Beshear, Lt. Gov. Abramson Commend Kentuckians for Overwhelming Support for Storm Victims

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, March 07, 2012  
Revision Date:  Wednesday, March 07, 2012 
Contact Information:  Kerri Richardson
Terry Sebastian

Gov., Lt. Gov. visit five counties Wednesday; damage assessments continue

FRANKFORT, Ky.  – After visiting storm-ravaged communities in five counties Wednesday, Governor Steve Beshear and Lt. Governor Jerry Abramson praised the outpouring of support and donations to help affected families recover from Friday’s deadly tornadoes.

“After a disaster like the one we have just experienced, I have learned that Kentuckians don’t just offer to help, they offer to help in abundance,” said Gov. Beshear. “Thanks to the generous and tireless spirit of Kentuckians, our families who have been turned out of their homes have warm meals, a place to sleep, and the assurance that more help is on the way.  I thank each of those volunteers, emergency responders, and local officials who are helping to begin the rebuilding of our communities.”

“I’ve visited several of our most devastated towns, and I have been overwhelmed by the resiliency of our families and communities,” said Lt. Gov. Abramson.  “Neighbors are helping neighbors, families are helping families.  People are determined to restore their homes, their business and their lives.”

Gov. Beshear visited Menifee, Morgan and Laurel counties on Wednesday, while Lt. Gov. Abramson traveled to Lawrence and Johnson counties.

This is the second time Kentucky’s top two state officials have surveyed storm-related areas. On Saturday, Gov. Beshear traveled to the cities of West Liberty, Salyersville and Piner. Lt. Gov. Abramson visited East Bernstadt in Laurel County on Saturday.

Deadly storms and tornadoes assaulted Kentucky on Friday, causing 23 deaths and more than 300 injuries.  The Governor has deployed nearly 400 National Guard troops to assist with security, traffic control and other needs in affected counties.

President Declares Major Disaster in Kentucky, Authorizes Assistance to Individuals

Governor Steve Beshear was notified Tuesday that President Barack Obama has authorized assistance for residents of seven Kentucky counties that suffered significant damage as a result of Friday’s tornadoes and severe storms.

The President's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Johnson, Kenton, Laurel, Lawrence, Menifee, Morgan, and Pendleton. 

Damage surveys are continuing in other areas, and more counties and additional forms of assistance will be designated after the assessments are fully completed.

Damage assessment teams – including representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency as well as state and local emergency management officials – are on the ground in several of the affected counties.

Assistance for individuals can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can apply for assistance by registering online at 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) seven days a week until further notice.  Recovery centers will also be set up in affected areas to assist those residents in person.

Gov. Beshear implemented executive orders to protect consumers from price gouging and to allow residents in affected areas to get emergency refills of prescriptions, excluding controlled substances.  He also directed the temporary suspension of restrictions on certain motor carriers and utility vehicles delivering disaster relief supplies.