FRANKFORT, Ky. — Today, Gov. Andy Beshear provided an update on rescue and recovery efforts following historic flooding in Eastern Kentucky. Unfortunately, the Governor reported severe weather is continuing to hit the region even as the death toll rises.
“If things weren’t hard enough on the people of this region, they’re getting rain right now,” Gov. Beshear said, noting that Floyd, Magoffin, Knott and Pike counties remain under a flash flood warning Monday morning. “There is severe storm potential today in all of the impacted areas, and that is just not right. The most risk is on the northernmost point of the impacted areas, but it is very unstable.”
Death Toll Continues To Rise
Gov. Beshear announced today that the death toll from the devastating floods has now risen to 30. Deaths by county are as follows:
- Breathitt County: 7
- Clay County: 2
- Knott County: 16, including 4 children
- Letcher County: 2
- Perry County: 3
Governor Seeks Expanded Individual Assistance
Today, the Governor is sending a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency asking for the other impacted areas – Floyd, Johnson, Leslie, Magoffin, Martin, Owsley and Pike counties – to be eligible for individual disaster assistance.
The Governor said he fully expects more counties to be added as was the process during the December tornadoes.
FEMA has already announced that renters and homeowners of Breathitt, Clay, Knott, Letcher and Perry counties who were affected by the severe storms, flooding and mudslides that began July 26 may apply for individual disaster assistance.
For the approved counties, applications can be filed online at disasterassistance.gov, by calling 800-621-3362 or by using the FEMA mobile app. If you use a relay service, such as video relay, captioned telephone or other services, give FEMA the number for that service. To learn more, see the full release.
The Governor said it will be important when applying for assistance to have critical information in hand, including:
- A current phone number where you can be contacted;
- Your address at the time of the disaster and the address where you are now staying;
- Your Social Security number;
- A general list of damage and losses;
- Banking information if you choose direct deposit; and
- If insured, the policy number or the agent and/or company name.
Survivors with homeowners, renters or flood insurance should file a claim as soon as possible. FEMA cannot duplicate benefits for losses covered by insurance. You may be eligible for federal assistance if your policy does not cover all your damage expenses.
Take photos to document damage and begin cleanup and repairs to prevent further damage. Remember to keep receipts from all purchases related to the cleanup and repair.
“FEMA folks are on the way. In these counties, what we’ve asked for, is folks who can go door to door to help our people. Also, a set location where people can come in and access all the services they need in one place.” Gov. Beshear said. “Don’t give up. We want to make sure everyone who can qualify, does qualify.”
Travel trailers are being delivered and connected to utilities for emergency sheltering. Twenty-five travel trailers have been delivered to Jenny Wiley State Resort Park in Floyd County. And between two areas in Knott County, 25 more are being set up. Information will be forthcoming for those who may be in need of these temporary shelters.
Kentucky State Police is continuing to respond and actively search for missing people.
- If you wish to report a missing loved one in the counties of Breathitt, Perry, Knott, Letcher or Leslie counties, contact Post 13 Hazard at 606-435-6069.
- If you wish to report a missing loved one in the counties of Magoffin, Johnson, Martin, Floyd, or Pike counties, contact Post 9 Pikeville at 606-433-7711.
- If you wish to report a missing loved one in the counties of Jackson, Owsley, or Lee counties, contact Post 7 Richmond at 859-623-2404.
- If you wish to report a missing loved one in the counties of Wolfe or Morgan counties, contact Post 8 Morehead at 606-784-4127.
- If you wish to report a missing loved one in Harlan County, contact Post 10 Harlan at 606-573-3131.
- Please note phone lines are extremely busy right now. It may take a while to get through.
- A command staging area has been established at the Hazard Armory for emergency personnel only. The public should not travel to the affected areas until emergency personnel gives the all-clear.
Cellular Service Being Restored
Gov. Beshear reported that progress is being made in restoring cellular service to the affected areas.
“Letcher County’s cellular infrastructure is being reported as restored. That is huge,” the Governor said. “And Appalachian Wireless, which serves so much of this region, is reporting that it is completely restored. That is really good news.”
Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund
As of 7:30 a.m. EDT on Aug. 1, there have been 12,035 donations to the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund, totaling $1,534,308.30. To donate, visit TeamEKYfloodrelieffund.ky.gov. The fund is fully transparent and the first distribution of funds will go toward paying for each victim’s funeral.
Flags Lowered in Honor of Victims
Gov. Beshear announced today that he is ordering flags at all state buildings to fly at half-staff for one week (ending Aug. 8) in honor of the victims of the Eastern Kentucky floods.
“I encourage businesses, individuals and organizations throughout Kentucky to do the same,” the Governor said. “Let’s make sure we’re recognizing the loss our people have been through.”
He said he would also be lighting the Capitol dome and Governor’s Mansion green.
“Green is the color of compassion, and just like we did during COVID, we’re showing compassion for those lost during this devastating flood,” Gov. Beshear said.
Governor Signs Order on Licensing
Today, Gov. Beshear signed an executive order to suspend fees for replacement driver’s licenses and permits, as well as replacement of motor vehicle registration and titles.
- Statewide, as of 8 a.m. EDT on Aug. 1, there were approximately 12,000 customers without power.
- 25,325 service connections were without water.
- 44,119 service connections were under a boil water advisory.
- 22 water systems have limited operations due to power outages and storm damage.
- 17 wastewater systems have limited operations, primarily due to flooded infrastructure and are experiencing discharges from portions of their systems.
The Governor also noted that he and the First Lady are canceling their planned trip to Israel this week. He said, “I cannot be overseas while the people of Eastern Kentucky are suffering and while the region will still be in a critical stage over the coming weeks. I promised the people yesterday that I would be there for them – today, tomorrow and in the coming weeks – and I am going to keep that promise.”
Yesterday, the Governor toured the flood-damaged area with stops in Hazard (Perry County), Leburn (Knott County), Hindman (Knott County) and Whitesburg (Letcher County). Shelter sites can be found at governor.ky.gov/FloodResources.
On Thursday, Gov. Beshear declared a State of Emergency due to severe flooding in Eastern Kentucky. To learn more about the Governor’s initial response to Eastern Kentucky floods, see Thursday’s Team Kentucky Update release.
Early Friday morning, Gov. Beshear updated Kentuckians via video message on the historic flooding in Eastern Kentucky and his administration’s response.
To view the Governor’s full briefing and release from later Friday morning, click here.
Friday afternoon the Governor announced that President Biden had approved his request for a federal disaster declaration for 13 Eastern Kentucky Counties. To learn more about the federal declaration and to read additional updates on the response to the flooding, click here.
To learn more about the federal disaster declaration, see Friday’s release from the White House.
To see Saturday’s full release on the floods’ rising death toll, continued search and rescue efforts, the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund, flood resources, FEMA assistance and more, click here.