Round up of Beshear’s Thursday press conference
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) — Gov. Andy Beshear addressed Kentucky in a Thursday press conference, covering an array of topics from the eastern Kentucky flooding to the State Fair to monkeypox and more.
Below is a recap of the briefing:
Two economic development projects investing $25 million and creating 450 jobs:
- Confluent Health LLC’s new company headquarters held the grand opening for a $10 million project that will create 350 full-time jobs
- DAS Cos. Inc., a distributor of automotive supplies, travel gear and mobile electronics, announced the company’s new distribution center in Simpson County, which will create 100 full-time jobs with a $15 million investment
Eastern Kentucky flooding
There are still 39 confirmed fatalities in five counties:
- 8 in Breathitt
- 2 in Clay
- 19 in Knott
- 3 in Letcher
- 7 in Perry
Two people are still missing from Breathitt County – Vanessa Baker, a 60-year-old woman, and Nancy Cundiff, a 29-year-old woman – both from the Lost Creek Community. If you have any information about either woman, you are asked to contact Kentucky State Police Post 13 in Hazard at 606-435-6069.
There are 455 people being housed in state parks, churches, schools and community centers. Kentucky State Parks are housing 319 people.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has delivered 94 travel trailers to four sites: Jenny Wiley State Park, Carr Creek State Park, Mine Made Campground and Crockettsville Campground. People seeking emergency sheltering in travel trailers can find more information and register at governor.ky.gov/FloodResources or by calling 502-234-1225.
Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund
The number of donations is 34,157 and the donated amount stands at $6,715,099. Thirty-nine funeral payments have been dispersed, totaling $390,000. To donate online, visit TeamEKYFloodReliefFund.ky.gov.
All wireless providers are reporting full restoration. 95% of power outages were restored as of Thursday, Aug. 4. There are 74 outages, down from 27,000 on Friday, July 29.
2,634 service connections are without drinking water, down from 40,000 on Thursday, July 28; and 22,371 service connections are under a Boil Water Advisory, down from 46,000 on July 28.
More than $42 million in grants have been approved under the FEMA Individuals and Households Program for 5,267 households:
- This includes nearly $32.4 million in Housing Assistance grants to homeowners to bring their damaged properties to a sanitary and habitable condition
- $8 million in Other Needs Assistance provides grants to provide applicants with immediate needs such as medical and dental expenses, moving and storage, funeral costs and childcare
In addition to a Disaster Recovery Center, Kentuckians can also apply through FEMA at DisasterAssistance.gov, on their mobile app and by calling 800-621-3362. Two Mobile Registration Centers are now open in Magoffin and Owsley counties from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. To see the locations, visit governor.ky.gov/FloodResources.
Roadways and Bridges Update
100% of assessments on public bridges have been completed, with 1,098 bridges inventoried: 75 bridges have been identified for replacement, and an additional 75 bridges have been identified as needing repair.
As of Wednesday, 1,199 loads of debris have been removed. Flood victims needing debris to be picked up can place most types of debris on state and county rights-of-way in front of their houses, sorted into piles of different types of debris: construction and demolition materials; electronic items; household hazardous material in non-leak containers; household appliances; and vegetative debris.
Victims that need help having debris moved to rights-of-way can call Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster at 606-268-0896. Cleanup of flood debris from creeks and streams is expected to begin Saturday.
Crisis and Behavioral Health Support for Flood Victims
There are 32 crisis counselors in the areas impacted by flooding in Eastern Kentucky. Crisis counseling teams will work through the local Community Mental Health Centers to provide support and awareness. Since Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2,413 crisis and behavioral health contacts have been made by center staff and Kentucky Crisis Counseling Team members on the ground in Eastern Kentucky. They are stationed at DRCs, shelters and other congregant locations, as well as going door-to-door to raise awareness of available resources.
Red Cross Blood Drive
Tuesday, Gov. Beshear, First Lady Britainy Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman donated blood at an American Red Cross blood drive in the Capitol Rotunda.
This summer, the American Red Cross faced a large drop in blood and platelet donations. This led to a 20 percent drop in the blood supply, according to Beshear. This decline may soon make it tougher to keep blood products stocked on hospital shelves. Beshear encouraged Kentuckians to visit RedCrossBlood.org to find a blood drive or donation location near them and to donate blood to help those in need.
Kentucky State Fair
Beshear attended the Kentucky State Fair’s Commodity Appreciation Breakfast and celebrated the hard work of Kentucky farmers. He also attended the fair’s Opening Ceremonies and visited booths.
“For many families, I hope this is a chance to take a breath with everything we’ve been through these last two-and-a-half years, to bring many generations together to continue great traditions, and ultimately to see so much of what our state has to offer,” Beshear said.
HCTC and ARH Nursing Scholarship
Hazard Community and Technical College and Appalachian Regional Healthcare on announced a new scholarship for nursing students.
Students who have been accepted into and enrolled in HCTC’s two-year nursing program will be eligible to apply. After completing licensing requirements, students can receive up to $15,000 with a commitment to work at ARH. For more information, visit hazardctv.com/ARHscholarship.
COVID-19 continues to spread in Kentucky, but Beshear said he’s hopeful most communities will have a plateau or slight decline. Several Kentucky counties are now back to a low (green) COVID-19 Community Level.
17 cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in Kentucky. All cases have occurred in adults. Anyone who is concerned they may have symptoms of monkeypox or who may have been exposed to the monkeypox virus should talk to their health care provider. Beshear said anyone eligible for the vaccine should contact their local health department to identify options for obtaining the vaccine.
- Kentucky Association of Health Plans: $100,000
- Jim Beam Brands Co.: $50,000
- Brown-Forman Corp.: $30,000
- River Metals Recycling: $25,000
- Rent-A-Center Customers & Co-workers: $25,000
- NTS Development Co.: $25,000
- Wieland North America Inc.: $15,000
Beshear also recognized the Kentucky Distillers Association, which is hosting a bourbon auction with all proceeds going to the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund. The auction is now open through Sunday, Aug. 21. Visit kybourbonbenefit.com for more information.