Floyd and Johnson counties to receive federal flood control money

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WASHINGTON, DC (WTVQ) – Floyd and Johnson counties will receive nearly $200 million in federal money for flood control projects, according to Congressman Hal Rogers.

The federal funding will complete long-term disaster recovery projects, including the Town of Martin Redevelopment Plan and provide flood protection in Johnson County.

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The Town of Martin Redevelopment Plan, a flood control project orchestrated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in Floyd County, was designed in 2004 to move city residents, businesses and government buildings out of the rural town’s dangerous flood plain.

To complete the project, the USACE will utilize $80 million from the federal Storm Supplemental Appropriations for Disasters 2018 Package, which was part of the 2018 Bipartisan Budget Act, supported by Congressman Hal Rogers.

“We started this unique project 14 years ago to relieve local families and businesses from the constant fear of flooding. It has been a massive undertaking, met with criticism for long delays and unexpected challenges; however, this is good news for the people of Martin. This community has suffered ten major floods in its history, but completion of this critical flood control program is finally in sight,” said Rogers, who has secured nearly $75 million in federal funds for the project since it began in 2004.

“Our region has suffered deadly and damaging flash flooding for decades as a result of our mountainous terrain across southern and eastern Kentucky. This mitigation project not only protects the Town of Martin from future flooding, but also provides a beautiful and safe new location for the Floyd County Renaissance Learning Center, Martin City Hall, Police Station, Volunteer Fire Department and a residential area. I applaud the Corps for prioritizing completion of the Town of Martin Redevelopment Plan.”

According to the USACE, the federal funding will allow them to finalize real estate acquisitions and demolitions, relocation of KY-1428, remove the Water Street bridge, and also complete phase two and three of site construction. The projected completion date is fiscal year 2025.

“In providing the current working estimates of funds required to fully fund these studies and construction projects, the Corps is showing its commitment to “moving dirt” and, more importantly, to completing studies and construction,” said Mr. R.D. James, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works.

The USACE will also utilize $118 million from the supplemental funding for a major flood control project in Johnson County. The funding will allow the USACE to complete a detailed project report and implement a flood control plan, which could include a flood wall or levee, floodproofing, flood-safe redevelopment, and relocation of structures or public facilities.

“The people of Johnson County have long-awaiting assistance for flood protection,” said Rogers. “This project will not only make Johnson County a safer place to live, but also has the potential to lower flood insurance rates and improve business opportunities in the City of Paintsville.”

The projected duration of the Johnson County flood control plan is to be determined.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.