Beshear to call special session to address flooding

Published 3:05 pm Wednesday, August 10, 2022

TOM LATEK

Kentucky Today

Governor Andy Beshear said Tuesday he expects to call a special session of the General Assembly within the next 30 days to fund cleanup and repairs due to the disastrous flooding in eastern Kentucky.

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During a state Capitol press conference, he said his emergency orders, which he issued shortly after the flooding began on July 26, are only in effect for 30 days unless local governments seek an extension or the General Assembly grants one.

“This will depend on the timing of a special session that I know we’re ultimately going to have,” he said. “If we have it within the 30-day window, that’ll be something we ask the legislature to do, but we’re prepared, and the county judges are ready to request an extension as well. I’m not concerned that we won’t be able to extend the orders to have the flexibility we need to respond.”

While the official death count from the flood remains at 37, Beshear said a 38th name will soon be added to the list. Eighteen-year-old Aaron “Mick” Crawford, a student at Knott County High School, worked for three days on flood cleanup before returning home, when he started feeling sick. His condition worsened, and he eventually died. A cause of death has not yet been released.

Two Breathitt County women, Vanessa Baker, 60, and Nancy Cundiff, 29, both of whom lived in the Lost Creek community, remain missing. They were last seen in their respective homes before the flooding began, in the area of Lower River Caney Road.

The governor said there is still a weather concern in the flood area for the next day or so. “A flood watch is in effect through central and eastern Kentucky through 8 p.m. on Wednesday. That means slow-moving showers and thunderstorms will produce heavy rainfall, which may lead to flash flooding.”

But there is some good news, according to the governor. “This is the last major weather front coming through at least for the next week.”

For the latest information on all the different types of aid that are currently available to flood victims, go to https://governor.ky.gov/flood-resources.