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Gov. Beshear provides update on Eastern Kentucky flooding

In News, State by OC Monitor Staff

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Today, Gov. Andy Beshear provided an update on the continuing stabilization efforts following the historic flooding in Eastern Kentucky.

“One of the main things that we’re doing today, because we have moved past the initial search and rescue phase and because we are worried about weather coming up, is wellness checks,” Gov. Beshear said. “There are a lot of people who may be stranded in their home because their private bridge has been wiped out – so there will be a lot of wellness checks underway.”

Fatalities

There are 37 confirmed fatalities in five counties:

  • 8 in Breathitt
  • 2 in Clay
  • 17 in Knott (13 adults and 4 children. The children are from the same family.)
  • 3 in Letcher
  • 7 in Perry

President and First Lady to Visit Eastern Kentucky

On Monday, Aug. 8, President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will travel to Eastern Kentucky, where they will join the Governor and First Lady Britainy Beshear to visit families affected by the devastation from recent flooding and survey recovery efforts at a local Federal Emergency Management Agency State Disaster Recovery Center.

Missing Persons

Kentucky State Police reports there are two missing persons still being searched for in relation to the flooding. This number is fluid and reflects only reports made to KSP.

Weather

Slow-moving thunderstorms could lead to heavy rainfall and isolated scattered instances of flash flooding in Eastern Kentucky today and Saturday. More rain is forecast through next week.

“The ground is already really saturated, and there’s a lot of debris that could cause clogging of waterways that can lead to flooding,” Gov. Beshear said. “If we have significant wind, this could lead to some damage. So everybody be weather aware tonight and into Saturday.”

Cooling Centers

There are nine cooling stations across Breathitt, Floyd, Johnson, Knott, Letcher, Owsley, Perry, Pike and Wolfe counties. For details visit governor.ky.gov/FloodResources.

FEMA
The Governor announced yesterday that FEMA approved Individual Assistance for Owsley County. Renters and homeowners of Breathitt, Clay, Floyd, Knott, Letcher, Owsley, Perry and Pike counties who were affected by the severe storms, flooding and mudslides that began July 26 may apply for individual disaster assistance by visiting one of the in-person mobile registration centers, applying online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362).

There are seven mobile registration centers. Hours for all centers are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. FEMA representatives will be at the centers to help with applications for federal assistance and to provide information about other disaster recovery resources. For additional information visit governor.ky.gov/FloodResources.

“If you’ve been denied, you can go in and talk to one of the FEMA people at these locations. They will open up your claim and they will talk to you about the reasons for the denial,” Gov. Beshear said. “Our goal is if it’s because you didn’t have certain documentation, we have our one-stop shops in these same locations or close to them, and we can walk you over to get that document.”

Shelters

  • Emergency Shelters – 209 occupants in shelters
    • Red Cross – 131
    • Independent Shelters – 78
  • Parks – 320 people are being housed at Kentucky State Parks.
    • Jenny Wiley State Park: 172 people
    • Paintsville State Park: 4 people
    • Pine Mountain State Resort Park: 6
    • Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park: 138
  • Travel Trailers – 75 travel trailers
    • 25 at Jenny Wiley State Park
    • 30 at Mine Made in Knott County
    • 20 at Carr Creek in Knott County

National Guard

  • 388 Guard members supporting the flood efforts in Eastern Kentucky
  • 20,028 cases of water distributed
  • 118 pallets of food, 1,219 MRE cases, 344 meals distributed

Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund

  • Total number of donations: 25,512
  • Donated amount: $3,686,211.67
  • Distribution update: The first payments are going out.
    • Five additional payments totaling $50,000 went out yesterday. So far, $170,000 in funeral payments have been paid to the families of 17 lost loved ones.

GoFundMe Page Notice

Gov. Beshear also addressed speculation that flood victims who receive money from a GoFundMe page will be ineligible for FEMA assistance.

In some instances, if those recovering from the floods receive money from a GoFundMe page for something specific, such as repairs or other aid, it may affect their FEMA eligibility, as FEMA cannot duplicate benefits received from another source.

However, the Governor stressed that all survivors should still apply for assistance and let FEMA determine if they are eligible.

Power Outages

  • 1,102, down from 3,044 reported yesterday.

Water Outages

  • Drinking Water:
    • 11,773 service connections without water, down from 13,590 reported yesterday.
    • 35,380 service connections under Boil Water Advisory, down from 41,004 reported yesterday.
  • Wastewater:
    • One wastewater system is not operational, down from three yesterday.
    • 13 wastewater systems under limited operation, down from 14 reported yesterday.
    • Three wastewater plants are experiencing bypasses.
    • 13 systems are experiencing discharges from portions of their collection systems.

Debris

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has awarded a contract for the removal and disposal of debris on state and county rights-of-way. Debris assessment will be conducted in affected areas through Aug. 10. Information regarding debris drop-off locations will soon be added to governor.ky.gov/FloodResources.

‘Popup’ Licensing Locations

Portable, “popup” driver licensing offices are operating today at Hazard Community College, the Letcher County Courthouse in Whitesburg, the Sportsplex in Knott County and at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park for flood victims. The “popups” will issue replacement driver licenses, permits and IDs free of charge for people who live in the 13 counties covered by the federal disaster declaration. For more information or additional locations and hours of operation, visit governor.ky.gov/FloodResources.

Transportation

KYTC has deemed 25 bridges to be impassable, up from 23 yesterday. This number can fluctuate as inspections continue. So far, 91% of the 1,100 bridges in the flood area have been inspected. State crews are beginning to concentrate on county roads, as all state roads are now open.

‘Water on Wheels’

Waterstep is an organization setting up “Water on Wheels” carts to provide portable drinking water to Eastern Kentucky. These carts serve as water filtration systems and will produce up to 15,000 gallons of clean water a day.

Food Assistance Programs

The Department for Community Based Services issued 485 food replacements yesterday, bringing the weekly total to 1,344. Flood survivors can learn more about food assistance at one-stop shops in Clay and Knott counties this weekend and in Perry County on Monday, Aug. 8. If you need food assistance visit kynect.ky.gov or call 855-306-8959.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance

Residents in seven Eastern Kentucky counties can immediately begin applying for Disaster Unemployment Assistance benefits. Affected residents in Breathitt, Clay, Floyd, Knott, Letcher, Perry, and Pike can file a claim for DUA benefits online through the Kentucky Career Center website or by phone at 502-875-0442.

Disaster Recovery Centers

The Governor announced the opening of two disaster recovery centers that provide both state and federal resources at one stop to best serve flood victims. Both centers will be open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 7 p.m. EDT. A list of services that will be provided at these centers will soon be added to governor.ky.gov/FloodResources.

Bourbon Auction for Eastern Kentucky Flood Victims

The Kentucky Distiller’s Association will host a bourbon auction with all proceeds going to the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund. The Kentucky Bourbon Benefit will be held online Aug. 11 through Aug. 21. Visit kybourbonbenefit.com for more information.