FEMA approves more aid on 6-month anniversary of eastern Ky. flooding

Published 2:00 pm Tuesday, January 24, 2023

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This week marks the six-month anniversary of the eastern Kentucky flooding that killed 44 people, and more federal aid has been approved in the region where more than a dozen counties were designated major disaster areas.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced  Tuesday the approval of $1,620,104 for emergency cleaning and mold and flood remediation conducted throughout the Knott County School District between Aug. 2 and Aug. 23, 2022.  During this time, the board utilized contractors to perform those services at Knott County Central High School, Hindman Elementary and ATC Vocational School.

This project was funded at a 100% federal cost share, meaning FEMA reimburses 100% of eligible costs.

FEMA says they obligate funding for these projects directly to the state of Kentucky.  It is then state government’s responsibility to ensure that the eligible sub-recipients receive these awards.  Following the state’s review process and upon receipt of appropriate documentation, they will reimburse the sub-recipients.

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The Public Assistance program from FEMA provides grants to state and local governments, and certain types of private nonprofit organizations, including eligible houses of worship.

From July 25-30, 2022, several complexes of training thunderstorms brought heavy rain, deadly flash flooding and devastating river flooding to eastern Kentucky, with rainfall rates of four inches or more reported in some areas.

The National Weather Service office in Jackson says radar-based rainfall estimates suggest up to 16 inches of rain fell in some areas during that time, with the highest totals in Clay, Owsley, Breathitt, Leslie, Perry, Knott, and Letcher counties.  That resulted in record river flooding in the region.

In noting the six-month anniversary of the flooding, Gov. Andy Beshear said, “We are making good progress, but there is much work left to be done.”

Currently, 243 families are living in travel trailers, as they work to find a more permanent housing solution.  Another 28 people remain at Kentucky State Parks lodges and cottages.  That is down from the 360 people who were sheltered at the state parks system on Sept. 1, 2022.

More information on the services which are available for those who survived the flooding, can be found at https://governor.ky.gov/FloodResources.

FEMA also has more information on Kentucky’s recovery from the floods, at fema.gov/disaster/4663.