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Gov. Matt Bevin today declared a statewide emergency in response to continued heavy rainfall events which have caused widespread flooding and damage to critical infrastructure across Kentucky.
Beginning on Feb. 9, severe storms produced heavy rain and strong wind gusts, causing flooding, landslides and mudslides and resulting in injuries and major impacts to infrastructure, agricultural production and governmental, commercial and private properties.
The Governor’s executive order enables state resources to be mobilized and made ready to assist cities and counties should they be needed.
Kentucky Emergency Management (KYEM) activated the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) on Feb. 22, at a Level 4. To date, the SEOC has received 14 individual county declarations.
“Monitor the threat of heavy rainfall and flooding alerts through your weather radio and media broadcasts to ensure you have awareness of changing conditions in your area,” said KYEM director Michael Dossett. ”Please also be aware of safety concerns for local first responders as they assist citizens in flood-prone areas.”
In response to rising floodwaters, search and rescue teams have been placed on standby to provide evacuation assistance as needed. State cabinet partners and the National Guard are also preparing for flood response activities.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is currently assessing damages in 21 Eastern Kentucky counties from the previous flooding event on Feb. 9-12, and is prepared to remain in the state to assess further damages in Kentucky.
Gov. Bevin has also activated the state’s prohibitions on price gouging, effective immediately, to protect consumers affected by the severe weather system.
The emergency order triggers several consumer protection measures and will remain in place for 30 days, but may be extended past that time as needed. This order ensures that any instances of price gouging — including for generators, building supplies, chainsaws, hotel rooms and other necessary goods and services at an exorbitant price in a time of disaster — will be fully prosecuted and held accountable.
To report weather-related damage, please contact your local emergency management office. For information about KYEM operations, please contact Monica French at 502-607-5721.