FEMA says it has provided more than $60 million in aid to eastern Kentucky flood victims

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By Tom Latek
kentucky today

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

In a Monday afternoon conference call with reporters, FEMA’s Brett Howard said, “FEMA has disbursed more than $45.7 million in landlord and tenant assistance. The Small Business Administration also approved more than $11.3 million. In addition to the $45.7 million awarded under the Individual Assistance Program, the National Flood Insurance Program paid out more than $6.9 million in claims.

Flooding in Floyd County in July (file photo)

Howard says FEMA has also partnered with the Kentucky Bar Association to provide 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 repairs, contracts, proof of ownership, and to assist with any appeals of FEMA ineligibility decisions.These services are free and confidential.

He noted that survivors facing disaster-related issues who cannot afford a lawyer can call the youth section’s Disaster Legal Assistance Committee hotline free of charge. KBA attorneys at 844-478-0099. The call will be routed to voicemail. Calls are checked Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Howard says more than 11,000 applications have been submitted to FEMA as of noon Monday. More than 5,700 were approved, 1,800 were deemed ineligible, but 2,080 initially rejected were made eligible on appeal.

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

Flooding in Whitesburg in July (file photo)

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

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

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

• Knott County: Knott County Sports Complex – 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. Sunday.

Additionally, a mobile disaster recovery center is open at the Whitley County Home Health Agency, 368 Penny Lane in Williamsburg. It will be open on August 23 and again from August 28 to 30, with the same hours.

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