FRANKFORT, Ky. – Gov. Matt Bevin has declared a statewide emergency in response to continued heavy rainfall which has caused widespread flooding and critical infrastructure damage across the Commonwealth.
The Governor’s executive order enables the mobilization of state resources to be to be utilized in support of cities and counties as needed.
Kentucky Division of Emergency Management (KYEM) activated the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) on Friday, Feb. 22, at a Level 4. To date, KYEM has received 36 county and 11 city state of emergency declarations. The Division is in daily contact with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers assisting in mitigation efforts in response to record level water releases at Wolf Creek Dam and flood fighting efforts at Smithland.
Kentucky has experienced prolonged episodes of severe storms producing heavy rain, strong and gusting wind, flooding, flash flooding, landslides and mudslides across the Commonwealth. This has resulted in increased water levels at major dams in central and western Kentucky, requiring record levels of water discharge, creating flooding conditions with enhanced threats to citizens and major impacts on infrastructure, governmental properties, commercial properties, agricultural production and private properties.
“Enhanced communication remains the highest priority in the current flood fight,” said Michael Dossett, director for KYEM. “The Division is in coordination with local, state and federal officials daily. Communities are reminded to check that flood plan and be ready to activate the plan if required.”