President Biden approves Gov. Beshear’s request for disaster declaration

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File Graphic (AP)(Associated Press Graphic)
Published: Apr. 1, 2021 at 11:20 AM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WSAZ) - President Joe Biden has approved Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear’s request for a major disaster declaration from the federal government.

This will help provide federal assistance to support communities across the commonwealth with recovery from devastating winter storms. The storms happened between February 8 through February 19. Gov. Beshear issued a State of Emergency Order on February 11. 59 counties and 38 cities issued local state of emergency orders.

“This declaration will make sure Kentuckians and our communities have the necessary resources to rebuild after the devastating ice storm that hit in February,” Gov. Beshear said. “Thank you to President Biden and FEMA for their assistance, and thank you to the many state and local agencies and organizations who are leading the recovery and rebuilding efforts in our hard-hit communities.”

The President issued a Major Disaster Declaration in response to Gov. Beshear’s request from March 19. This funding is eligible to local governments, and to certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities. It’s also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures.

The federal Disaster Declaration includes public assistance for the counties of Bath, Boyd, Boyle, Breathitt, Carter, Casey, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Elliott, Estill, Fleming, Floyd, Garrard, Greenup, Harlan, Jackson, Johnson, Laurel, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Lewis, Lincoln, Madison, Magoffin, Marion, Martin, McCreary, Menifee, Mercer, Morgan, Montgomery, Nicholas, Nelson, Owsley, Perry, Powell, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Rowan, Wayne, Whitley and Wolfe.  Damages assessed by state, local and federal representatives are projected to exceed $30 million.  A request for additional counties may follow as damage assessments are ongoing.

“We appreciate President Biden’s timely award of a major disaster declaration, in response to Gov. Beshear’s request of March 19,” said Michael Dossett, director of Kentucky Emergency Management. “With the federal assistance, our counties and power utilities will be able to repair the catastrophic damages to our electrical infrastructure as a result of the February severe weather and ice storm event.”

FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency Public Assistance Program, will provide funding to eligible applicants for allowable costs associated with debris removal, emergency protective actions and restoration of impacted infrastructure.

Also, the governor’s office says all areas in the Commonwealth of Kentucky are eligible for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. This is help for actions taken to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural hazards.

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