|President Bush declared a major disaster for
Kentucky on Friday, making federal funding available for some of the state's recovery
efforts from last month's severe winter storm.
The president ordered federal public
assistance funding for 51 counties and individual assistance in 15 counties.
"I'm very pleased the president has approved this well deserved federal aid for
the citizens of the commonwealth," Gov. Paul Patton said in a release.
Individual assistance goes to residents and business owners whose homes or property
were damaged in the storm. Meanwhile, public assistance is earmarked to help pay for the
cost of damaged roads, buildings and utilities and also to help pay for removing the
debris, according to the release.
Patton wrote the president earlier this month asking for a declaration that would make
the state eligible for Federal Emergency Management Agency money.
Most of the state was hit February 15 with snow and ice that caused state highways and
interstates to close. The storm left more than 175,000 customers without power. Some
residents without electricity or heat were forced into shelters and as the storm continued
Fifty-five of the state's 120 counties declared emergencies following the storm. In his
letter to the president, Patton estimated the damages would cost more than $40 million.
Additional counties could be added to the list after further damage surveys are
completed. However, all counties can apply for federal help through the Hazard Mitigation
|People who suffered losses in the named
counties (which include Lewis, Carter and Greenup) can apply for help by calling
1-800-621-3362. People who are hearing or speech impaired may call 1-800-462-7585.
Information is also available on the Internet at www.fema.gov.
Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to
cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business
owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
The US Small Business Administration will also be available to cover residential and
business losses not covered by insurance.
Lewis County has also been approved to conduct a sign-up for the Emergency Conservation
Program due to the storm. Eligible practices include debris removal from farmland and
building or repairing fence due to damage from the ice storm.
Producers should have some idea of the extent to the damage when completing an
application. Producers must file an application before starting any debris removal or
repairs in order to be eligible for cost-share assistance.
For more information about the Emergency Conservation Program, call the FSA office at
606-796-3866. Sign-up for this program ends on April 11.
See our storm photo collection at
Ice Storm 2003.