Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher announced recently his request for federal disaster aid has been approved. President George W. Bush has ordered federal assistance be made available to supplement state and local recovery efforts in 27 Kentucky counties.
The declaration states that a major disaster existed in the Commonwealth of Kentucky as a result of a winter storm that produced record and near record snowfall, ice, sleet and freezing rain beginning on Dec. 21, 2004 and continuing through Dec. 23, 2004.
“I am very pleased that President Bush and officials with FEMA have moved forward to declare Kentucky as a disaster area,” the Governor said. “Many communities in the Commonwealth were severely impacted by the snow and ice that ravaged Kentucky during that time. Federal assistance is crucial to ensure that needed infrastructures are restored.”
The President’s action makes public assistance available to the following counties: Ballard, Bracken, Breckinridge, Caldwell, Carlisle, Crittenden, Franklin, Fulton, Grant, Grayson, Hancock, Harrison, Hart, Hickman, Hopkins, Larue, Livingston, Lyon, McLean, Muhlenberg, Nelson, Owen, Pendleton, Robertson, Shelby, Union, and Webster.
“Public assistance will help repair or replace damaged public roads, buildings and utilities, as well as covering a portion of the cost of debris clean-up and disaster related emergency services,” noted Kentucky Emergency Management Operations and Recovery Manager Charlie Winter.
Western and northern Kentucky bore the brunt of the winter storm. At the peak of the storm there were an estimated 30,000 customers without power. The storm was accompanied by gusty north winds that produced snow drifts up to 15 feet deep. Members of the Kentucky National Guard spent many hours assisting hundreds of storm victims.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), additional county designations may be made at a later date.
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