Sen. Mitch McConnell meets with officials in Eastern Kentucky after devastating flooding

Sen. Mitch McConnell tours flood-damaged areas
Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 1:40 PM EDT
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PIKE COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) - U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell is meeting with officials across eastern Kentucky following the deadly flooding nearly two weeks ago.

McConnell’s first stop Tuesday was at a distribution center in Pikeville.

“One thing about the mountain people, they’re very resilient and they’ll get through this and we’ll help them,” McConnell said.

He talked with emergency management directors, as well as local representatives and hospital officials, about the flood response. He promised them politics have been put aside, and everyone is in the cleanup effort together.

“We’ll be here until the cleanup is finished, and that may take a long time,” said the senator. “We’re not going to just be here when the episode occurs, but be here for the long haul to get everyone back to as close to normal as possible.”

McConnell mentioned President Biden’s promise of financially covering 100% of the emergency work for 30 days to rebuild devastated communities. He said he would like it to be longer.

“After that, we’ll be talking about the federal match and seeing if we can keep it from dropping to 75%,” McConnell said.

Pike County Emergency Management Director Nee Jackson says in the past, the county had been financially burdened with the cost of this emergency work.

“Cleaning debris out of the roadways, out of the steams, removing bridges that may have washed out and were completely blocking those steams, those type things that are emergency protective measures,” Jackson said.

He said this will save counties thousands, if not millions, of dollars.

McConnell also discussed FEMA assistance available to individuals across the area, which he said is very important for getting Kentuckians back on their feet.

The senator heard stories about water rescues that took place in Pike County, some as the water was still rising.

“It was a quick response of the highest order,” McConnell said. “One thing about the mountain people, they’re very resilient and they’ll get through this and we’ll help them.”

The senator made several stops throughout the region in various counties including Letcher, Knott and Floyd.

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