Gov. Andy Beshear announces sixth and seventh higher ground communities

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Published: Oct. 26, 2023 at 6:28 PM EDT
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JENKINS, Ky. (WYMT) - On Thursday, Gov. Andy Beshear announced plans to build two higher ground communities in Floyd and Letcher Counties.

12 homes will be built in the Wayland community of Floyd County and 115 homes will be built in Jenkins.

“It is incredible, after these families have been through so much, they’re going to have a place to call home that they know is safe,” he said.

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Mayor of Jenkins, Todd DePriest, said this is a longtime coming.

“We’re really excited about today, this has been going on since after the flood. I think we’re about the week 53 mark of working on this project, working with the Commonwealth, federal partners and the land owners themselves to get this put together. So, we’re excited for it to be coming together today,” he explained.

He said it’s a part of the big plan of rebuilding the region to a better place.

“This is just one big project of many that’s going on in Jenkins and Letcher County, the flood was awful it was a disaster, but it has opened doors that we didn’t have before and we’re taking full advantage of that to try to work on tourism, economic development, housing and all of the pieces involved. So, it’s an exciting day to be able to get started on this and it be a part of the bigger plan,” he said.

The land was donated by three brothers, Gregory, Garnie and George Johnson.

“There was a 92 acre donation from the Johnson family to make that possible, they’ve got sorted, designed into those 92 acres, 115 house sites for that area,” said DePriest.

A donation that will give 115 families a new place to call home.

“On this land, 115 families, who have been through the worst, who have likely lost everything they had, saved the clothes on their back during the worst flooding of our lifetime will have a new start and a home they know that flooding will never occur,” said. Gov. Beshear.

He added that this will be funded from the Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief fund in partnership with FAHE and Homes Inc.

Gov. Beshear added that with a portion of the land being used to build homes, the rest could possibly be used for trails, businesses and more development.

He recently awarded $9 million from the Rural Housing Trust Fund to seven housing non-profits in the region. For the complete list, click here.