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Residents Impacted by Flash Flooding Prepare to Apply for Federal Assistance

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  Recovery efforts continue for residents in four eastern Kentucky counties following historic flash flooding in July.  Impacted families can soon begin to sign up for federal assistance.

State officials received word last week of a disaster declaration for Carter, Rowan, Trimble, and Johnson counties.  Four deaths were attributed to flash flooding that destroyed the Flat Gap community.

Paintsville Emergency Management Director Gary McClure says it’s hard to know how much money will be coming to Johnson County.  “A lot of this hinges on what funds are available for assistance from FEMA,” said McClure.

FEMA is the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  Likewise, in neighboring Rowan County, Emergency Management Director Ronnie Day says it’s difficult to know when checks will arrive.   “And it really depends on how quick the folks get to the FEMA office, once they set up an office," said Day. "You know, they register, and they get the FEMA inspectors out and they look at their property."

Day says a recovery center is being established in Olive Hill.  He says some 150 homes in the Rowan County area were damaged by flash flooding.   McClure says a site for the federal government recovery center has not yet been chosen.  Mid-July flash flooding resulted in fourth deaths and destroyed many houses in the Flat Gap community.

Stu Johnson is a reporter/producer at WEKU in Lexington, Kentucky.
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