These Kentucky counties get more help after flooding


The Federal Emergency Management Agency approved a major disaster declaration for 22 counties in Kentucky – including Fayette – following severe statewide flooding earlier this year, Governor Andy Beshear announced Friday.

Anderson, Fayette, Jessamine, Laurel, Madison, Warren and Woodford counties have been added to the disaster declaration, and residents of those counties can now ask for help.

Households in Boyd, Clark, Franklin, Greenup, Jackson, Knott, Lawrence, Leslie, Letcher, Lincoln, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Pulaski and Rockcastle counties are also eligible for individual assistance after government agencies and organizations to qualifying nonprofits have previously been approved for the public. assistance in repairing damaged facilities and infrastructure.

“There will now be more resources available for Kentuckians and Kentucky communities to rebuild after historic flooding,” Beshear said in a statement Friday morning. “We have moved quickly to seek the help of the federal government and we thank FEMA for quickly approving our request as our fellow Kentucky people continue to recover from the severe storms.”

The storms occurred from late February to mid-March.

The most significant flood damage in Fayette County appeared to be in the southernmost part of the county, near the Kentucky River. The rising waters partially swallowed cars and led some to evacuate their homes by boat.

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Ralph Senninger (left) uses a boat to aid residents of Beach Road in Lexington, Ky., Monday March 1, 2021. Some residents were evacuated from the area after heavy rains that caused flooding along the Kentucky River . Michael clubb

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Flooding along the Kentucky River resulted in some vehicles being submerged in water on the road to Lexington’s Beach on Monday, March 1, 2021. Michael Clubb

Much more severe flooding has occurred in eastern Kentucky, leaving communities underwater. A county official said the flooding “was unlike anything most of us have ever seen.”

The Kentucky River peaked at over 40 feet in some areas during the flooding.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover losses of uninsured property, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of storms, according to the governor’s office.

Residents and business owners of counties included in the disaster declaration can begin seeking assistance from FEMA by registering online at, downloading the FEMA app, or calling the 800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY: 800 -462-7585 for the hard of hearing and hard of hearing). The toll-free numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. local time seven days a week until further notice.

Residents who wanted to apply were asked to prepare their social security number, insurance information, damage information, bank details and contact details.

Residents who apply must also register with FEMA even if they have insurance. FEMA cannot duplicate insurance payments, but those who are underinsured can receive help after their insurance claims are settled.

“Thanks to FEMA for approving our complementary counties,” Michael Dossett, Kentucky’s director of emergency management, said in a statement. “This individual aid will help hundreds of our citizens who have been displaced by the record flooding. Federal teams are already in the Commonwealth and will be able to quickly begin the registration process in additional areas. “

Residents who had additional questions or needed to report additional damage were advised to contact their local emergency management agency. The Lexington Emergency Management Agency can be contacted at (859) 280-8080.

The approval announced Friday was in addition to a previous declaration of disaster by President Joe Biden that had already allowed individuals and communities in Breathitt, Clay, Estill, Floyd, Johnson, Lee, Magoffin, Martin and Powell counties to call for help after severe storms, floods and landslides.

Jeremy Chisenhall covers the latest news for the Lexington Herald-Leader and He joined the newspaper in 2020 and is from Erlanger, Ky.

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