A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Death toll in Eastern Kentucky flooding goes to 43, two more dead; one still missing

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

Two more people were reported to have died related to the eastern Kentucky flooding back in July according to an update from Gov. Andy Beshear, bringing the death toll to 43, with one person still missing.

 “The deaths were caused by health conditions directly arising from the flooding. “These losses are out of Letcher and Breathitt counties,” Beshear said. “Let us pray for those families and all of Eastern Kentucky, as we continue to try to stabilize the region, and ultimately turn towards rebuilding.”
The 43 fatalities occurred in six counties. Ten are from Breathitt, two from Clay, 19 from Knott, four from Letcher, seven from Perry, and one from Pike.

“Remember, we still have one missing person, Vanessa Baker of Breathitt County. If you have any information on Ms. Baker, please contract Kentucky State Police at the Hazard Post, (606) 425-6069.”

Eastern Kentucky flooding (File photo)

Beshear also reminded Kentuckians that the deadline to apply for individual assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, is Friday, Oct. 28. This applies to residents of Breathitt, Clay, Floyd, Knott, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, Owsley, Perry, Pike and Whitley counties.

FEMA assistance for individuals affected by the July floods can cover rental assistance, temporary housing, home repairs, personal property losses and other disaster-related needs not covered by insurance. FEMA grants do not have to be repaid. FEMA assistance is non-taxable and will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicaid, or other federal benefits.
Homeowners and renters in the designated counties can apply for FEMA assistance in the following ways:

• Visit a Disaster Recovery Center.  To find an open recovery center, visit fema.gov/drc.

• Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. If you use a relay service, such as a video relay, captioned telephone or other service, give FEMA the number for that service.

• Apply online by visiting DisasterAssistance.gov.

• Download and use the FEMA mobile app.

FEMA notes, if you have been asked to complete a disaster loan application from the U.S. Small Business Administration, or SBA, please complete it as soon as possible. The SBA deadline is also October 28. If the SBA does not offer you a low interest loan, you may be eligible for additional FEMA grants to replace essential household items, replace or repair a damaged vehicle, cover storage expenses, or meet other disaster-related needs.

The Department for Community Based Services received approval from the federal Food and Nutrition Service to allow flood survivors in Eastern Kentucky to purchase hot food with SNAP benefits until Nov. 1. The counties approved for hot food waivers with SNAP benefits include Bell, Breathitt, Clay, Floyd, Harlan, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, McCreary, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Wolfe and Whitley. For assistance, call 885-306-8959 or go to kynect.ky.gov.  

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