FEMA aid in eastern Kentucky tops $60 million

Published 3:21 pm Wednesday, August 24, 2022

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency says more than $60 million in aid has been approved thus far for those who suffered losses in the record flooding that occurred in eastern Kentucky in late July.

During a Monday afternoon conference call with reporters, Brett Howard from FEMA said, “FEMA has disbursed more than $45.7 million in aid to homeowners and renters. The Small Business Administration has also approved more than $11.3 million. In addition to the $45,7 million awarded in the individual assistance program, the National Flood Insurance program has paid out more than $6.9 million in claims.”

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Howard says FEMA has also partnered with the Kentucky Bar Association to furnish legal assistance to flood survivors, “for things like insurance claims, medical bills, loss of property, loss of life, new wills, powers of attorney, other legal documents, home repair contracts, proof of ownership, and to assist in any appeal of FEMA ineligibility rulings. These services are free and confidential.”

He noted that survivors facing disaster-related issues who cannot afford an attorney may call the KBA Young Lawyers Section Disaster Legal Relief Committee hotline toll free at 844-478-0099.  The call will be routed to a voicemail box.  Calls are checked Monday through Friday between the hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Howard says over 11,000 applications have been submitted to FEMA, as of noon Monday. More than 5,700 have been approved, 1,800 have been ruled ineligible, but 2,080 that were initially rejected have been changed to eligible upon appeal.

FEMA says Lee, Lincoln, and Powell counties, have now been approved for public assistance from FEMA, bringing that total to 16. Of those, 12 counties have been approved for individual assistance. Those are Breathitt, Clay, Floyd, Knott, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, Owsley, Perry, Pike and Whitley counties.

There are six Disaster Recovery Centers, where affected residents can apply for FEMA benefits and work through any appeal. Those are:

• Breathitt County: Breathitt Library–1024 College Ave, Jackson.

• Clay County: Clay County Community Center–311 Highway 638, Manchester.

• Knott County: Knott County Sport Plex –450 Kenny Champion Loop #8765, Leburn.

• Letcher County: Letcher County Recreation Center – 1505 Jenkins Rd., Whitesburg.

• Perry County: Hazard Community College –1 Community College Dr, Hazard.

• Pike County: Dorton Community Center –112 Hill Rd., Pikeville.

Hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.

In addition, a mobile Disaster Recovery Center is open at the Whitley County Home Health Agency, 368 Penny Lane in Williamsburg. It will be open on Aug. 23, and again Aug.28-30, with the same hours.