UPDATE: Congressional delegation backs Nicholas disaster aid request

UPDATE POSTED 3:40 P.M. MONDAY, AUG. 23, 2021

NICHOLAS COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – U.S. Congressman Andy Barr and Republican U.S. Senators sent a letter to the Biden Administration on Friday urging an expedited approval for federal flood assistance to Nicholas County.

The Commonwealth of Kentucky finalized the federal disaster request last Thursday, August 19.

On July 29 and July 30, the city of Carlisle and Nicholas County experienced tremendous flood damage to 88 homes, 29 businesses, and critical infrastructure that downed the city’s fire department services and impacted their wastewater treatment plant.

“We write to call your attention to the August 19th, 2021 letter from Governor Andy Beshear requesting a major disaster declaration for the Commonwealth of Kentucky due to the severe storm cell that caused extensive and deadly flash flooding in Nicholas County on July 29 and 30, 2021. We strongly support this request and ask for your timely consideration,” the letter from Congressman Barr, Senators McConnell and Paul read in part.

“Many homeowners did not have flood insurance policies. Individual Assistance is needed for the community to recover from this devastating event,” the letter continued.

Congressman Barr visited Nicholas County and the city of Carlisle shortly after the floods occurred. The offices for Congressman Barr, Senator McConnell and Senator Paul will continue to assist in flood recovery efforts in Nicholas County and be available to constituents who need help.

UPDATE POSTED 3 P.M. THURSDAY, AUG. 19, 2021

NICHOLAS COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – Three weeks after severe flooding claimed one life and damaged dozens of homes and businesses, Gov. Andy beshear has asked the federal government for disaster assistance.

Thursday, Beshear submitted a request to President Joe Biden to issue a Major Disaster Declaration and fund individual assistance to eligible residents in Nicholas County who were impacted by the once-in-a-thousand-year flood event that occurred July 29-30, 2021.

Federal teams have been in the community for a week surveying damage. It could take several days before the federal government makes a decision on Beshear’s request.

Disasters in individual counties and cities sometimes are more difficult to get broad federal assistance because of the damage thresholds used to determine whether it is a federal issue.

Beshear’s request seeks individual assistance to eligible residents in Nicholas County who were impacted by the once-in-a-thousand-year flood event.

If granted, funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Individuals and Households Assistance Program can provide support to impacted citizens in the form of temporary housing, repair of homes, replacement of personal property and vehicles and other eligible needs.

The maximum funding for home repair and restoration is $36,000 for each household and an additional $36,000 is available for necessary expenses and serious needs directly caused by the disaster.

The flooding impacted 88 homes and 29 businesses as well as the city’s wastewater treatment plant, fire station and city garage. The estimated damages to roads, bridges, buildings and equipment, along with the cost of debris removal, total more than $3.8 million.

“Kentuckians in Nicholas County have worked so hard to support each other during this difficult time, and now we are taking another step to support them by seeking additional assistance,” said Beshear. “We are thankful for FEMA’s quick start on joint assessments of the damage, and now we need their help again, along with the administration, to fund individual assistance and declare a Major Disaster Declaration.”

“We are again hopeful for assistance from our federal partners in the form of a declaration for Individual Assistance for our homeowners and business operators severely impacted during this historical flash flooding event,” stated Michael Dossett, director of Kentucky Emergency Management. “With more than 100 citizens impacted in this small community, FEMA assistance would be a substantial step in the long road to recovery from this flooding event.”

The governor issued a State of Emergency Order on Aug. 3 after the county received 4.07 inches of rain in a two-hour period, which caused major flash flooding in downtown Carlisle and along Brushy Fork Creek, resulting in numerous high-water rescues, multiple road closures and one fatality.

During this event, the rainfall deluge exceeded the 1,000 year return rate.

As a result of a previous letter from the Governor to President Biden, four FEMA teams conducted Joint Preliminary Damage Assessments in Nicholas County. The Governor and Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman also toured Nicholas County on Aug. 3 to view the damage from the severe flooding.

On Aug. 4, Gov. Beshear announced the opening of a multiagency recovery center to assist residents of Nicholas County impacted by the severe flooding.

Residents in Nicholas County who have questions or have been affected by the flooding are encouraged to contact Nicholas County Emergency Management or the City of Carlisle Emergency Management for assistance.

ORIGINAL STORY POSTED 8 P.M. AUG. 7, 2021

NICHOLAS COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – Nicholas County experienced devastating flooding overnight on July 29. On August 3, Governor Andy Beshear issued a state of emergency in the area and helped to set up a recovery center to provide relief from the flood damage.

Many homes and businesses were destroyed or seriously damaged by the flooding. Nicholas County Family Resource and Youth Service Center coordinator Paula Hunter says full recovery from the flood could take months.

“We had over 100 people, 100 families, affected and like 26 businesses so it will be awhile,” says Hunter. “Our only grocery store we have in Nicholas County was flooded so that made it hard on a lot of families, they had to find their groceries out of town.”

A multi-agency recovery center was set up on August 6th to bring relief information to one central location. Hunter says booths for the governor’s office, unemployment, storage, re-housing, and insurance were set up at Nicholas County Elementary School for those affected to have access to resources they need.

Community members say the flood had trickle down damage that might not be the first thing people think of, like the only grocery store being destroyed or not being able to work because the business is too damaged.

“My income is everything so when it wasn’t there anymore and I thought ‘ok, I’m ok with my savings’ but I had some damage got done to the back of our house that we were trying to fix and it ate up my savings pretty quick,” says Verna Pettit, Nicholas County resident who lost her job to flood damage. “When you haven’t got money coming in and all of it going out, it’s really hard.”

Hunter says over the two days the recovery center has been set up, at least 100 people came in to get the help they need to start recovering from this disaster.

“We’re known as the little town with the big heart and it’s really true. I mean people have come together to help with everything,” says Hunter.

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