'It's really just started': $500,000 in grants available for flooding cleanup in Southeastern Kentucky

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) - Governor Andy Beshear and the Energy and Environment Cabinet announced that $500,000 in grant funding is available to 12 counties in Southeastern Kentucky for flooding cleanup.

The 12 counties that declared a state of emergency after the recent flooding qualify for the grant money. This includes Bell, Clay, Harlan, Hickman, Knox, Lawrence, Leslie, Letcher, McCreary, Metcalfe, Perry and Whitley Counties.

For Bell County, the flooding was the worst they have seen in years.

"We've got a lot more trash to deal with than in times past," said Bell County Judge Executive Albey Brock.

They do not have the money in the budget for flood cleanup, so these grants are needed.

"It will help us take it through our solid waste station which will have it disposed of properly," said Brock.

Each county will get up to $50,000 for the cost of collecting, transporting and disposing of debris caused by the flooding.

"If you take out our ability to help those folks you're talking about they would be burning mattresses and plastics and things that shouldn't be burnt," said Brock. "Not just for the environment but for that person's health as well you know inhaling some of that."

Hoping this money will make sure the cleanup is as safe as possible.

“I am pleased to make this money available and stand with communities as they recover from recent flooding. I encourage everyone doing cleanup to be safe and to help the environment by properly disposing of all debris," said Governor Beshear.

State officials warn Kentuckians to watch out for dangerous materials when cleaning their properties. Potential hazards include asbestos, mold and toxic chemicals.

“Please use caution when handling different types of debris,” Cabinet Secretary Goodman said. “And be aware that material that is improperly disposed of can have a lasting impact on the environment.”

Contact your local solid waste coordinator to learn where to dispose of flooding debris. Open burning is heavily restricted.

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