Biden Approves Major Disaster Declaration For Kentucky
President Joe Biden has approved a major disaster declaration for Kentucky following February winter storms that left more than 150,000 thousand Kentuckians without power at one point and killed four people.
The declaration announced Thursday will free up federal funds to local governments and some nonprofits working to repair facilities and move debris with an estimated total damages of $30 million dollars by the winter storm. That includes public assistance for 44 counties in central and eastern Kentucky that saw landslides, mudslides, freezing rain and bitter cold temperatures.
“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 in a statement. “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.”
All counties in the state are eligible to receive funding from the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, aiming to build projects reducing risk for future natural hazards in communities.
A statement from Gov. Andy Beshear’s Office said the governor plans to submit a second major disaster declaration to repair damage from major flooding seen across the state in March, with the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the last phase of reviewing damages caused by the flooding in 40 counties.
Beshear held a March press conference in Murray after reviewing flood damage in Calloway County, saying the local government would have state and federal support in its repairs. Much of eastern Kentucky has seen devastating flooding in March, flooding homes and businesses in several communities.