Taskforce formed to combat mosquito problem in flooded KY counties

FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) - Since declaring a state of emergency nearly three weeks ago, Gov. Steve Beshear made his third trip to western Kentucky earlier this week, continuing his strong support of local, state and federal relief efforts for flood victims there.

Beshear was notified May 4 that President Barack Obama approved his request for a major disaster declaration for Kentucky. Since that time, the Governor has been in constant contact with officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management (KyEM) as these agencies over the last two weeks have assessed damages in the affected areas.

Currently, FEMA and KyEM have teamed up to examine damages to both public infrastructure and private residences. To date, the FEMA/state teams have conducted state and local government assessments in 53 Kentucky counties and individual/household assessments in 11 counties. These assessments involve the teams inspecting damaged areas, documenting the damages and meeting with local officials in western Kentucky.

Based on the results of these assessments, FEMA has added 11 Kentucky counties to the recent federal disaster declaration.

FEMA and KYEM are asking all residents with property damage to document the damage with photos, save repair receipts and report any damages to their local county emergency manager. For additional information about the flooding in west Kentucky, please view www.fema.gov and www.kyem.ky.gov .

Mosquito taskforce

While in Union County earlier this week, Gov. Beshear shared details with local residents about an internal state taskforce recently created to combat the rising mosquito problem in numerous counties affected by the flooding. The agencies on this taskforce include: the Transportation Cabinet, the Energy and Environment Cabinet, the Finance and Administration Cabinet, the Department for Public Health, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Department for Local Government, the Governor's Office on Agricultural Policy and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

"Mosquitoes are not only a nuisance but, in this case, they have become a public health risk and are impeding recovery efforts," said Gov. Beshear. "I have asked this group to develop and quickly institute a plan to help eradicate the increased numbers of mosquitoes."

The group is using FEMA as an adviser on the mosquito eradication project since the project is related to the flood disaster in western Kentucky. Once the plan is complete, the agencies of the taskforce will immediately begin to work with local communities throughout western Kentucky where the mosquito population has increased.