Ky. crews heading south after Ian months after Fla. responders helped with flood cleanup

Governor Andy Beshear tweeted he authorized the Kentucky National Guard to provide assistance.
Governor Andy Beshear tweeted he authorized the Kentucky National Guard to provide assistance.(Staff Sgt. Chloe Ochs | Staff Sgt. Chloe Ochs)
Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 9:43 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky rescue and recovery crews are preparing to head south once Hurricane Ian passes, and some of these responders are returning the favor after crews from Florida came to the commonwealth just two months ago.

On Tuesday, Governor Andy Beshear tweeted he authorized the Kentucky National Guard to provide assistance.

As Ian inches closer to the Florida gulf coast, people who live in the storm’s path are preparing their homes, and bracing for impact.

Emergency crews are also gearing up to respond during the storm, and looking for outside help. Kentucky is preparing to do what they can to help.

“They have already strategized as far as what’s the best and most efficient and safe way to deploy any co-op crews in Kentucky to go and help the co-ops that are affected by this hurricane,” said Joe Arnold with Kentucky Electric Cooperatives.

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Blue Grass Energy in Lawrenceburg is one of the Kentucky Electric Cooperatives preparing to go to Florida once Ian passes. Kentucky Utilities is also gearing up to deploy to the sunshine state and Georgia. They have committed more than 200 employees and contractors to help with power outages.

“The most dangerous time is after the storm. It is not necessarily when the storm hits. It’s when people feel the need to start repairing roads and fixing their own personal property,” said Matthew Daley with Emergency Disaster Services.

EDS, based out of Lexington, is sending 1,000 people to the region. The state is also sending resources.

Governor Beshear has authorized three Kentucky National Guard flight crews to help where needed. The guard says they’ll likely deploy Thursday after the storm passes.

Volunteer groups that have spent the last two months in eastern Kentucky are also making plans to respond to Florida. Officials with Samaritan’s Purse say any response to Florida will not take away from the work they are still doing in parts of eastern Kentucky. However, they have been making plans to start wrapping up operations in flood-damaged communities.

The Eastern Kentucky chapter of the American Red Cross says they are in long-term recovery, however, the Kentucky region will likely deploy volunteers should they be needed.