Gov. Andy Beshear said the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is rising to the challenge for Kentuckians recovering from the floods that struck the eastern side of the state in July.
In a news conference on Monday, Beshear said FEMA is working to process claims for flood victims in Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) set up across the region.
“This is critically important as we move forward, and I appreciate the extra steps FEMA is taking,” Beshear said. “I urge flood victims to have all documentation on hand in case their application can be approved during a DRC appointment or onsite property visit.”
FEMA staff now has the authority to approve claims onsite at the established recovery centers. FEMA says they have additional appointments available and encouraged Kentuckians to visit one of the DRC locations. For a full list of locations that provide both state and federal resources in one place to best serve flood victims, visit governor.ky.gov/FloodResources and click the “One-Stop Resource Locations” tab. Unless otherwise noted, DRCs are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and from 1 to 7 p.m. on Sundays.
FEMA is calling everyone who has been denied, so the governor encouraged Kentuckians affected by flooding to answer their phones when called, even if it’s from an unfamiliar number.
For the first time ever, FEMA has implemented a texting program. The agency will soon be able to communicate with flood-impacted Kentuckians via text message to help speed communications and appointments.
In at least some of the mobile units that are traveling home-to-home, there may be a FEMA representative who can give approval on a claim onsite.
“Everyone in this situation wants to do better, including FEMA,” Beshear said. “My goal is to be relentless in pushing for more help for Kentuckians, and I want to thank FEMA for taking these new steps – steps we’ve never seen before – to help more people.”
In addition to a DRC, Kentuckians can request assistance from FEMA at DisasterAssistance.gov, on the FEMA mobile app and by calling (800) 621-3362. Two mobile registration centers are now open in Magoffin and Owsley counties from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. To see the locations, visit governor.ky.gov/FloodResources.
The Governor said there are 39 confirmed fatalities in five counties: eight in Breathitt; two in Clay; 19 in Knott; three in Letcher; and seven in Perry.
Kentucky State Police (KSP) continues to search for two missing Kentuckians from Breathitt County – down from 130 individuals – who have been missing since the historic flooding:
- Vanessa Baker, a 60-year-old woman from the Lost Creek Community. Her last known location was at her residence in the area of Lower River Caney Road.
- Nancy Cundiff, a 29-year-old woman from the Lost Creek Community. Her last known location was at her residence in the area of Lower River Caney Road.
- Anyone with information about either woman is asked to contact Post 13 in Hazard at 606-435-6069.
Twenty local organizations – including state parks, churches, schools and community centers – are housing survivors. Kentucky State Parks are currently housing 313 people.
The commonwealth immediately began transporting unoccupied trailers purchased for the December tornadoes in Western Kentucky to Eastern Kentucky after the floods. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) has delivered 94 travel trailers to four sites: Jenny Wiley State Park, Carr Creek State Park, Mine Made Campground and Crockettsville Campground. Individuals seeking emergency sheltering in travel trailers can find more information and register at governor.ky.gov/FloodResources or call 502-234-1225 to register.
Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund
The total number of donations is 33,709 and the donated amount stands at $6,224,974. A total of 37 funeral payments have been dispersed totaling $370,000. The Governor asked Kentuckians not to donate clothing. These donations are overcrowding much-needed storage space. He said to please focus on monetary donations through trusted funds. To donate online, visit TeamEKYFloodReliefFund.ky.gov.
Kentucky National Guard
The Kentucky National Guard has distributed nearly 39,094 bottles of water and 65,462 meals.
74 outages, down from 25,111 on July 28.
Drinking water: 4,700 service connections without water, down from 40,000 on July 28, and 23,947 service connections under Boil Water Advisory, down from 46,000 on July 28.
Roadways and Bridges Update
100% of assessments on public bridges have been completed, with 1,098 bridges inventoried: 27 state and county bridges remain impassable; 56 bridges have been identified for replacement, and an additional 52 bridges have been identified as needing repair.
As of Sunday, Aug. 14, 911 loads of debris have been removed. Yesterday, 173 loads of debris were collected in five counties. Today, Breathitt, Clay, Floyd, Knott, Letcher, Perry and Pike counties are scheduled for debris removal. Flood victims needing debris to be picked up can place most types of debris on state and county rights-of-way in front of their houses, sorted into piles of different types of debris: construction and demolition materials; electronic items; household hazardous material in non-leak containers; household appliances; and vegetative debris.
Through Sunday, Aug. 14, 1,256 driver’s licenses and state ID cards have been issued through the Transportation Cabinet’s “popup” licensing offices. To see a full list of “popup” licensing office locations, visit governor.ky.gov/FloodResources.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance
Residents in Breathitt, Clay, Floyd, Knott, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, Owsley, Perry, Pike and Whitley counties are now eligible for DUA benefits and can file an application online through the Kentucky Career Center website (kcc.ky.gov) or by phone at 502-875-0442. The application deadline for all claimants has been extended until Sept. 6, 2022. To learn more, see the full release. The Kentucky Office of Unemployment Insurance (OUI) Mobile Workforce Center will be available at three locations from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. through Wednesday, Aug. 17. To see a list of locations, visit governor.ky.gov/FloodResources.