Agreement signed to protect area from flooding in Pike County

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, of Somerset, joined the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps), along with local and state leaders for the ceremonial signing of a public project agreement for flood proofing the City of Coal Run in Pike County.

Congressman Rogers has helped secure $17.9 million in federal funding for the project to protect the people of Pike County and local schools and businesses from the repeated threat of flooding. The area along the Levisa and Tug Forks of the Big Sandy River Basin and Upper Cumberland River have been impacted by seven major floods over the last century.

“Flood protection has always been one of my top priorities in Eastern Kentucky,” said Congressman Rogers. “I have worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on projects across the region totaling nearly $800 million over the last four decades. We have built flood walls, raised levees, drilled tunnels, built bridges and re-rerouted the Cumberland River. I have great confidence in knowing that we can protect the people of Coal Run for generations to come.”

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Huntington District will manage the comprehensive project.

“Protecting the public is our top priority. The focus here is on the danger of flooding on the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River; residents here know all to well how devastating that can be,” said Col. Jayson Putnam, Commander of the Army Corps Huntington District. “The Corps of Engineers has taken great pride in partnering with Congressional leadership, the Pike County Fiscal Court, the Kentucky Department of Local Government, local residents, businesses and other public facilities. Our first steps will be to design and construct the Coal Run Village Flood Risk Management Project, which includes a floodwall, gate closures and a pump station.”

The Pike County Fiscal Court is the lead project sponsor with the Kentucky Department for Local Government serving as the county’s financing partner for the 5% non-federal cost share.

“I remember when my parents’ business was flooded in 1984 – it was devastating to us and the surrounding homes that were impacted. Anyone who has been through a flood knows that it is emotionally and financially draining, and most people can’t afford flood insurance. It is critical that we provide flood protection for the people of Pike County,” said Ray S. Jones, II, Pike County Judge Executive. “Congressman Rogers has led flood protection across southern and eastern Kentucky, so he is uniquely qualified to lead this project and we are thankful for his support.”

In addition to the proposed flood wall, the comprehensive project includes voluntary flood proofing, acquisition or relocation of nearly 2,000 residential or commercial structures, including six public facilities.

“What this project allows us to do is save lives and save homes, and property in the process,” said Andrew H. Scott, Mayor of Coal Run. “I am grateful that we are moving forward with this project. The City of Coal Run and County leaders are ready to work together and get this project moving.”

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