In a letter to President George W. Bush, Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher has requested a declaration of “a major disaster for the Commonwealth as a result of devastating storms that moved through Kentucky producing tornadoes, floods, flash flooding, and mud and rock slides beginning on May 27th, 2004 and continued through May 31, 2004.”
“Over the past week, Kentucky has been hit hard by severe storms and tornadoes that pose an immediate and long-term threat to the safety, health and well-being of thousands of Kentuckians,” stated Governor Fletcher. “While our state and local emergency management officials have done an outstanding job working with the many skilled emergency responders, utility workers and volunteers across the state, it is evident that assistance from the federal level is needed to ensure storm victims’ homes and communities are restored. We are hopeful that FEMA will acknowledge our need for assistance, and grant these communities the aid they so desperately need.”
The joint assessment completed by federal, state and local teams has resulted in the Governor requesting Individual Assistance for at least 36 counties with reported damage. In addition, neighboring counties have been included in order to cover any future claims.
The flooding and tornados damaged more than 2,000 homes with 1,000 of the homes sustaining major damage or destroyed. Currently, more than 1,000 people in Henry, Floyd, Magoffin and Martin counties are still displaced. Authorities are working on temporary housing solutions for those families. Personal property damage estimates are not available at this time.
The initial FEMA estimates are based on surveys in only 20 counties. FEMA estimates more than $15 million dollars in infrastructure type damage which includes roads, bridges and public buildings. The storms were responsible for at least five deaths.
“I have been extremely proud of the people of this Commonwealth for the courage and compassion they have shown their fellow Kentuckians over the past week,” continued Governor Fletcher. “As we continue to move forward, we will keep the storm victims, emergency workers and countless volunteers in our thoughts and in our prayers.”
Editor’s note: West Virginia is also seeking Federal help with storms there. See Southeast news for that coverage.
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