Mayfield electrical system back to pre-tornado standard

Published 8:57 am Wednesday, October 11, 2023

The state of Kentucky, The Electric Plant Board of Mayfield, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), have now repaired or replaced all the electrical system’s damaged or destroyed poles and transformers struck during the Dec. 10-11, 2021, tornado outbreak.

This project, at a total cost of $7.34 million, took 18 months to complete. As Mayfield Electrical Systems had exceptional damage and/or expenses, FEMA picked up 90% of the tab, while the state and local share was 10%. That meant the Federal cost share was $7.11 million, with the non-Federal share at $790,479.

Public Assistance Hazard Mitigation is a cost-sharing program. Due to the magnitude of damage from the tornadoes, President Biden in January 2022 authorized a cost share adjustment to 90% federal funding and 10% funding for state and local partners.

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This means FEMA reimburses applicants at 90% of eligible costs with the remaining 10% covered by state government. The federal share is paid directly to the state to disburse to agencies, local governments and the nonprofit organizations that incurred costs.

“We are pleased the Commonwealth, local partners and FEMA together restored this facility back to its pre-disaster design, function and capacity,” said Jeremy Slinker, director of Kentucky Emergency Management.

“This public utility is essential to Mayfield residents. We are proud that the Commonwealth, local partners and FEMA all participated in helping to rebuild and restore this electric distribution system throughout the city of Mayfield,” added John Brogan, FEMA’s Federal Coordinating Officer.

The Hazard Mitigation Mission is to protect lives and prevent or reduce the loss of property from hazard events, aligns directly with the FEMA Mission Statement of helping people before, during, and after disasters.​

FEMA says the tornadoes caused an estimated $305 million in damage to homes, churches and businesses in Mayfield, Dawson Springs, Bowling Green and other communities.  Around 80 people lost their lives during the outbreak, with hundreds more injured.

In Mayfield alone, a city of 10,000 residents, the deadly tornadoes destroyed 257 homes and damaged another 1,000, according to the city.  Most of its historic town center was destroyed.