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Kentucky Governor declares State of Emergency

Gov. Andy Beshear
Gov. Andy Beshear(Governor Andy Beshear/Youtube)
Published: Mar. 1, 2021 at 12:09 PM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WSAZ) - Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear declared a State of Emergency due to extremely heavy rainfall across the commonwealth throughout the weekend.

He made the declaration Sunday evening.

The Kentucky Division of Emergency Management (KYEM) State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) is activated and monitoring reports from county emergency services agencies.

“By declaring a state of emergency, we can mobilize the state resources needed to support the cities and counties affected by this heavy rainfall,” said Gov. Beshear. “We are acting swiftly to ensure the safety and security of Kentucky families and to get the needed help to our communities.”

The entire state received heavy rainfall over the weekend. Counties remained in a flood watch or warning until Monday morning.

13 counties have declared a state of emergency including Elliott, Johnson and Pike Counties, along with the city of Paintsville.

The Kentucky National Guard has been activated and is responding to high water emergencies.

“The impact of extremely heavy rainfall and flash flooding across the commonwealth led to numerous emergency rescues and evacuations in counties from west to east,” said Michael Dossett, director of KYEM. “The Governor’s state of emergency activated the National Guard, and we have been coordinating requests for assistance from counties across the state.”

“We’ve experienced flooding in numerous regions. Please be aware of the presence of emergency responders and use caution near the many closed local and state roadways due to high water,” said Dossett.

The governor’s office has released some safety tips for flooding awareness:

  • Avoid walking or driving through floodwaters – TURN AROUND. DON’T DROWN!
  • Do not drive over bridges that are above fast-moving floodwaters. Floodwaters can scour foundation material from around the footings and make the bridge unstable.
  • Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and 1 foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground.
  • Avoid camping or parking along streams, rivers and creeks during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly and with little warning.

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