State of Emergency declared in eastern Kentucky due to flooding

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – A State of Emergency was declared Friday in several southeastern counties and cities due to flooding.

Governor Andy Beshear says the emergency declarations are for the following counties: Bell, Clay, Harlan, Knox, Leslie, Letcher, Perry and Whitley.  The declaration is also for the cities of Whitesburg, Jenkins and Hyden.

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“By declaring a state of emergency, I am enabling the mobilization of state resources to be utilized in support of cities and counties in need,” says Beshear. “We are acting swiftly to ensure the safety and security of Kentucky families and communities that have been impacted.”

All week, Kentucky has experienced an extremely heavy rain event, which has caused significant flash flooding, landslides and mudslides across the southeastern portion of the Commonwealth.

The Kentucky Division of Emergency Management (KYEM) says it activated the State Emergency Operations Center on Friday at a Level 4.

“Kentucky Emergency Management officials, along with local emergency management personnel, will be conducting damage assessments in the declared counties beginning Saturday, Feb. 8, through next week, as water recedes,” says Michael Dossett, director of KYEM. “In addition, please be aware of emergency responders who will be active during the following week.”

To report weather-related damage, please contact a local emergency management office. For information about KYEM operations, please contact Monica French at (502)607-5721.

Beshear says he has also issued an executive order implementing Kentucky’s price-gouging laws. The emergency order triggers Kentucky’s consumer protection measures the next 30 days. The protective measures may be extended beyond 30 days if needed.

Anyone with information regarding possible price gouging is asked to contact the Office of the Attorney General Consumer Protection Hotline at (888) 432-9257.

To download a copy of Beshear’s State of Emergency executive order, click here. A copy of the executive order on price-gouging can be found here.