Gov. Beshear talks recovery efforts 6 months after deadly storms
KENTUCKY (WFIE) - Governor Andy Beshear held a Team Kentucky update Thursday.
You can watch his full update below.
Governor Beshear spoke on several topics Thursday, including the upcoming sixth-month anniversary of the deadly Dec. 10 tornadoes that hit Western Kentucky.
Beshear will mark that anniversary on Friday in Mayfield.
The governor said he wants to continue to remember and uplift the 81 lives lost but to also look at the progress that has been made in the rebuilding efforts.
Beshear says he also plans to celebrate the first newly constructed homes that were started after the tornadoes.
Six months after the tornado, Beshear says there has been over $193 million raised through federal, state and Red Cross disaster assistance.
He said nearly 2,600 individuals have been housed through emergency programs. More than 800 people and 250 first responders were housed in state parks.
The Commonwealth Sheltering Program housed more than 580 people in travel trailers and hotels. The governor says they are actively working to transition survivors to long-term housing solutions.
He said the Red Cross sheltered over 890 survivors and served more than 105,000 meals. FEMA also provided housing for 54 households.
To this date, state officials say the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund has disbursed more than $26 million to cover funeral expenses, FEMA uninsured homeowners and renters and nonprofit home builders.
Beshear announced more than $16.3 million in additional SAFE funds will also be distributed. He says $1.2 million of that money is going to the city of Dawson Springs. $15 million is headed to Mayfield Electric and Water Systems, and $176,000 will go to Muhlenberg County.
14 News spoke with Dawson Springs Mayor Chris Smiley, who says their funds will be used to pay for land surveys of individual properties.
He said that will help people re-establish their property lines.
“After they get it surveyed, at least they’ll be able to look at it and say, ‘Hey there’s my lot, now what am I going to do? Am I going to build? Am I going to sell it? What am I going to do?” he explained.
He said residents can get around $2,000 to go toward a survey of their property.
“If you think about it, you’ve just lost your house, $2,000 is a pretty good chunk of money to come up with,” Smiley said.
Beshear also said more than 2.5 million cubic yards of debris have been removed from 19 counties.
Beshear also spoke on different actions the state is taking to help Kentuckians combat baby formula price gouging.
He issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency over the baby formula shortage that has impacted the nation and the commonwealth.
That order activated state price-gouging laws, which aim to protect families seeking to purchase formula from predatory pricing that can occur when supplies are limited due to high demand.
Officials say the current baby formula shortage is mainly attributed to the lack of supply after a major production plant was shut down earlier this year when the FDA began investigating bacterial infections in four babies who were fed the formula.
Kentuckians should click here to report baby formula price gouging to the Office of the Attorney General.
At this time the governor said the attorney general hasn’t received any claims of price gouging.
He says the executive order can last for 30 days.
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