Kentucky seeking federal help as floodwaters cause damage

Kentucky seeking federal help as floodwaters cause damage
The city of Beattyville, Ky., sits underwater following heavy rains which caused the Kentucky River to flood, Tuesday, March 2, 2021. (Source: Alex Slitz/Lexington Herald-Leader via AP)

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Gov. Andy Beshear will seek federal assistance after heavy rains soaked Kentucky and left massive flooding around the state.

Beshear said “parts of cities are underwater in eastern Kentucky” and Kentucky National Guard members are assisting local and county officials. The governor visited a hard-hit area in Calloway County in western Kentucky on Tuesday.

“These weather events have been brutal on Kentucky,” Beshear said Tuesday at an afternoon news briefing.

Floodwaters were receding in many parts of Kentucky on Tuesday, but problems remained.

State officials said the Kentucky River in Breathitt County was putting pressure on an earthen dam under Kentucky 15, forcing the county to call for about 1,000 residents in Jackson to evacuate. Beshear said the evacuations were a precaution.

The state sent engineers to assess the problem and emergency officials are placing sandbags to help control the erosion, state Transportation Secretary Jim Gray said Tuesday.

Nearly 50 counties and cities in Kentucky have issued disaster declarations, according to state Emergency Management Director Michael Dossett.

Dossett said the state has reached out to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and asked them to send an investigator to Kentucky to view the damage.

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