Gov. Andy Beshear visits Eastern Kentucky counties hit hard by flooding

Published: Mar. 5, 2021 at 10:33 AM EST|Updated: Mar. 5, 2021 at 11:13 AM EST
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BEATTYVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - 5:38 p.m. Update: Governor Andy Beshear, county and city officials returned to the Lee County Community Center from a helicopter ride Friday morning.

The governor flew over hard-hit Lee and surrounding counties to observe the flood damage.

“We’re here today so we can have that first-hand look, but also so I can look you in the eye,” said Gov. Beshear. “And you know we’re going to be here with you every step of the way.”

Gov. Beshear declared a state of emergency Sunday as rain moved into our region. State officials are working to get federal assistance.

“We met with the Mountain Caucus in the state legislature and we reached out to the entire federal delegation,” the governor added.

State officials are asking for two federal disaster declarations. The first declaration for ice storms and the second for flooding in our region.

“I see the governor coming here, moving the issues forward to the federal level,” said Lee County Judge-Executive Chuck Caudill. “I see the press coming here showing what is actually happening.”

Judge-Executive Caudill joined the governor on the helicopter. Caudill said the damage spread to more than just Lee County.

“As a matter of fact, talking to people in Breathitt County, that they have even more problems than we do,” he added.

The governor said he saw people digging out of mud and debris. Multiple county judge executives called for unity.

“The people came in, you saw the tears, you saw the frustration,” said Caudill. “You saw some anger, but you also saw resolve.”

1 p.m. Update: Governor Andy Beshear held a news conference Friday morning at the Lee County Community Center in Beattyville.

The governor, county judge executives and mayors flew on a helicopter to look at the damage left behind from flooding earlier this week.

The governor’s office asking for two federal disaster declarations: One for the ice storm and the second for flooding.

Officials said 71 declarations have already been made by county and city officials asking for help from the flooding.

During the news conference, Governor Beshear said this is the worst flash flood damage he has ever seen.

The governor also said they are working to come up with ways on how the region will not see this type of damage again, even saying they are working to get the city of Jackson a rescue boat because they do not currently have one.

Original Story:

Gov. Andy Beshear, other state leaders and leaders of counties hard hit by flooding earlier this week are holding a news conference.

You can watch that below:

Early Friday morning, Gov. Beshear flew over the areas affected by helicopter to tour the damage. County judge executives from Breathitt, Estill, Lee, Leslie and Owsley counties, along with the mayors of Beattyville, Booneville, Irvine, Jackson and Ravenna were also at the news conference.

In other updates from the news conference, Lee County Judge-Executive Chuck Caudill is asking for donations of building material. Scott Jackson, the Mayor of Beattyville, is asking other counties if they have dumpsters they can borrow to help carry off debris from flood damage.

Gov. Beshear said he believes hundreds of homes across the counties affected are damaged. WYMT’s Dakota Makres asked the governor about what he saw during his flyover and he called it “the worst flash flooding I’ve ever seen.”

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