A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Governor activates Kentucky National Guard to aid victims of flooding from heavy rains across the state

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

Kentucky National Guard troops have been activated in response to continued flooding conditions resulting from heavy rain throughout Kentucky.

Since Feb. 6, the state has experienced prolonged episodes of storms which have produced heavy rain, strong and gusting wind, flooding and flash flooding, landslides and mudslides across the state, according to Kentucky Emergency Management officials.

State workers begin sandbagging the Smithland Levee along US 60 in Livingston County. (Photo from Kentucky Transportation Cabinet).

Gov. Matt Bevin declared a statewide State of Emergency on Monday. The executive order enables the mobilization of state resources to be utilized in support of cities and counties as needed.

Emergency Management has been coordinating daily with the US Army Corps of Engineers assisting in mitigation efforts in response to record level water releases at Wolf Creek Dam in southern Kentucky, and flood control efforts at the Smithland Levee, near the confluence of the Cumberland and Ohio Rivers in the west.

KYEM has deployed 32 guardsmen along with two cargo trucks to assist with a temporary sandbag cell layer, raising the levee to 55 feet. The Smithland Levee is projected to crest at 52.5 feet’ on March 2 and remain until March 6.

KYEM Director Michael Dossett said “In cooperation with our partners, we have established a unity of command that includes first responders, county emergency management agencies, communities, state partners, the Kentucky National Guard and federal agencies. Thanks for the contributions and dedication to all in helping the citizens of the Commonwealth.”

“We also remind citizens there are still dangers as flooding continues throughout the state. Rivers and tributaries will crest shortly but remain at record levels throughout next week.”

To date, KYEM has received 41 county and 14 city state of emergency declarations.

County Declarations: Ballard, Bell, Breathitt, Carlisle, Carter, Clay, Clinton, Crittenden, Cumberland, Elliott, Estill, Floyd, Fulton, Grant, Harlan, Hickman, Jackson, Johnson, Knox, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Livingston, Magoffin, Marshall, Martin, McCracken, Metcalfe, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Powell, Rockcastle, Russell, Union, Wayne, Webster, Whitley and Wolfe.

City Declarations: Burkesville (Cumberland), Cadiz (Trigg), (Clay City (Powell), Edmonton (Metcalfe), Grayson (Carter), Hickman (Fulton), Jenkins (Letcher), Monticello (Wayne), Paducah (McCracken), Paintsville (Johnson), Pikeville (Pike), Salyersville (Magoffin), Springfield (Washington), West Liberty (Morgan) and Whitesburg (Letcher).

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